CAMPAIGNS: JUDGE AND JURY; Take That failed to make a song and dance over band break-up

Take That, teenage sensation of the 90s, went out with a whimper rather than a bang in a week dedicated to news of bombs and the sound of superstars clashing, says Judy Lipsey, managing director of Poole Edwards PR Limited.

Take That, teenage sensation of the 90s, went out with a whimper rather

than a bang in a week dedicated to news of bombs and the sound of

superstars clashing, says Judy Lipsey, managing director of Poole

Edwards PR Limited.



Take That, the biggest teenthrob pop sensation who made the media

coverage generated by Michael Jackson in the 80s look like it would fit

on the back of a cereal packet when compared to their own, have retired

gracefully into the ether of boy band heaven.



Glistening like Persil popsies, the ‘boys’ made their last television

appearance at the annual Brit Awards singing a new version of the Bee

Gees’ ‘How Deep Is Your Love?’ As a generation of screamagers flung

themselves face down on the bed determined to sob forever, PRs heaved a

sigh of



relief knowing they would now have more chance of thrusting their own

little darlings at pop journalists.



The Brit Awards should have been Take That’s finest tabloid moment, but

a potentially glorious swansong was hijacked by the Jacko v Jarvis

debacle, which made far more interesting reading the next day. Not to

mention stricken tankers and bus bombings. TT’s rehearsed exit ended up

on the cutting room floor.



Take That have had a phenomenal five years. Essentially the brainchild

of manager Nigel Martin-Smith, Gary, Mark, Jason, Howard and Robbie

hadn’t met before they found themselves members of the same band. From

these manufactured beginnings they were a press non-starter until they

had their first hit, then it was Smash Hits covers, Just 17 posters,

acres of tabloid coverage - particularly in the Daily Star which decided

to adopt the band as its own - and tons of pressure.



The PRs had to keep one step ahead as paparazzi tried to snap the boys

in the shower. They had to control the acres of drivel spewing out into

a multitude of publications while maintaining the band’s aura of

untarnished wholesomeness. Never seen with a slapper on their arms, or

anything more than an orange juice in their hands, Take That became a

marketer’s dream, a teen magazine dream and a nightmare to the PRs who

had to plan daily campaigns with Churchillian precision.



Management, PR and marketing all contrive to shape a band’s future. In

1980 Paul Weller sang that ‘the public wants what the public gets’; if

it’s sweet, more-ish and non-threatening, shove it down their throats

and they’ll be gagging for more.



The power of television is unprecedented in this country, the press

writes about music more than ever and music, good and bad, is

everywhere. But there will always be room for a bunch of shirtless,

hopeful boys posing for their record sleeve on top of a mountain -

grounded tankers or no tankers.



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