DIARY: Downes is out to become best of PR friends with London’s celebrity set

Justin Downes, the dapper City PR man and co-founder of Financial Dynamics, has been dabbling in a bit of celebrity PR.

Justin Downes, the dapper City PR man and co-founder of Financial

Dynamics, has been dabbling in a bit of celebrity PR.



Downes, who made more than pounds 2 million from the sale of FD to the

Broad Street Group in 1987, has been advising celebrity couple Paula

Yates and Michael Hutchence.



But he assures me his input is purely strategic, insisting: ‘It’s very

informal - Michael is now a friend.’



Indeed, Downes says he kept well clear of the famous divorce case. That

was handled by Paula’s PR Gerry Agar, whose bare midriff and blue toe-

nails featured prominently in last week’s Sunday Telegraph.



Apparently Downes and Agar have known each other for eight or nine years

and worked together to rescue former Big Breakfast star Paula’s

tarnished image.



They were so pleased with the arrangement that they are going into

business together, with a new PR agency called Impression Management.



It is one of a number of small businesses Downes has fathered - another

is headhunting firm Rizwan Nash.



Agar, former in-house PR for Muppets creator Henson Enterprises, is

obviously keen to dispel the notion that IM is some sort of Ab Fab

outfit. ‘Justin told me not to call you ‘treasure’,’ she tells me.



But she is effusive about her mentor: ‘It was Justin who pulled me

through my career,’ she says. ‘He is my sounding board.’



Apart from Paula and Michael, the fledgling agency’s other clients

include Ministry of Sound chairman James Palumbo - another old friend of

Downes - and business publisher Kogan Page. Agar is, however, reluctant

to reveal other celebrity clients on the basis that ‘it’s not very

clever PR to reveal the people you’re trying to promote’.



Methinks Max Clifford should be told.



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