EDITORIAL: Jury out on Pop Idol's PR handling

The timing of Pop Idol Will Young's announcement that he is gay - around a month after bagging that title with the votes of several million keen young girls - has divided the more frivolous elements of the PR world.

In the It Was Good PR camp sit those who give the boyish crooner credit for waiting just long enough to secure victory but not long enough to make it seem as though he was hiding his true predilection.

Ranged against them, and given voice by Max Clifford - who has run a successful campaign building Pop Idol meanie Simon Cowell into a more user-friendly brand - are the Betrayal Tendency. Clifford gives the handling of this announcement - brought forward after rumours circulated among the tabloids - just seven out of ten.

It would have been better for Will to have come out before the final two-way face off. He may have lost the competition, but would have avoided any claims that he misled his adoring public. He would also - as Pepsi's sponsorship deal for losing finalist Gareth Gates shows - have become something of a pop idol anyway.

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