Despite some fierce campaigning tactics, Westlife have lost out to
fellow boy band Back Street Boys, who were voted best group at the MTV
Europe Awards last week.
It seems that Westlife’s promoter, BMG Entertainment, has not learnt
Labour’s lesson from a few years ago, when the party stood accused of
trying to get Tony Blair elected as personality of the year. A memo
urging supporters to vote for The Leader on Radio 4’s Today programme
was inevitably leaked.
BMG had the bright idea of sending out e-mails to any potential fans
urging them to ring the MTV hotline and register their vote.
Unfortunately, the e-mails ended up in some pretty strange places. BMG
apparently thought the band had a bit of a fan in Richard Elsen, deputy
head of Ludgate Public Affairs. They do not.
’Extraordinary ... even in the world of boy bands they now rig
elections,’ says a slightly bemused Elsen.
A spokeswoman for BMG defends the e-mail: ’E-mails go out to the people
who bought the records. It’s standard marketing practice.’