Absolutely Ruinous: Lynne Franks gets frank
The release of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie last week created a huge wave of good PR for everyone's favourite bad PR, Edina Monsoon.
While the PR industry likes to tell people that the film isn't a true reflection of what commsland is like – something Flack can confirm – it's sometimes forgotten that Eddy is based on a real-life PR. Her name is Lynne Franks, and she had previously denied being the inspiration for Saunders' much-loved character – but in a 2011 interview with PRWeek, said she regretted her overreaction to the show: "I took myself too seriously. Now I think, what a compliment. I feel great affection for the show and the characters."
Her view seems to have changed slightly now they are on the big screen. In an interview in the Daily Mail this week, she said that in retrospect, the lifestyle she led that engendered Eddy could have "destroyed" her, and that she was glad to have left it behind. "I've found a different, happier ending," she told the paper.
Blair: I'm media obsessed (or... a PR?)
It is now commonplace to talk about Tony Blair as the first Prime Minister to think seriously about his public image – and one detail hidden away among the 2.6 million words of Wednesday's Chilcot Inquiry report demonstrates the extent to which he considered media relations.
In a declassified letter from Blair to US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice used as evidence by Chilcot, Blair considers the rebuilding of Iraq under the then recently established Coalition Provisional Authority. He starts the section entitled 'media' with the two-word phrase "my obsession", and goes on to say that he thought the CPA's comms director Gary Thatcher was "making a big difference", and discusses the need to work well with Iraqi TV, and the potential pitfalls of having a US or UK channel involved.
"We need this fast. It is essential to keep building Iraqi consent and understanding," he writes.
Flack notes that from a Prime Minister who was acting like a comms man for a TV channel, the UK now has a PM who was a comms man for a TV channel, although this is of course soon to change.
The hand that wields the knife shall never wear the crown
To The Ivy, where Flack was engaged in political debate with two specialists for whom the phrase "a week is a long time in politics" had rarely been more apt.
Had Michael Gove spiked his own guns by wielding the knife against his political rivals, Flack wondered? Not necessarily – the reply came that it was conventional for Tory leadership bids to contain an assassination attempt.
However, the true wielder of the knife must never be seen, he advised. All too true, it transpires. The whiff of cordite around Gove as well as the spectacle of Lady Macbeth at his shoulder was too much for Tory MPs to stomach and, yesterday, they put paid to his plans, probably for good.
History, which Flack presumes Gove is a student of, should have taught him the lesson that no visible assassin will ever wear the crown.
Our Gogh-to PR guy
Forget Cannes – one PR man has decided that there's only one bit of silverware (bronzeware, actually) that he wants to get his hands on.
Steve Monk-Chipman, a content designer at Bottle, is battling with nearly 1,000 others to be crowned the world's best Vincent van Gogh lookalike.
Competition in the vote is stiff, as you can see from the website of the artist running the project.
The winner will be flown to Vancouver to have their head scanned by a 3D scanner, and will receive a 3D bust of themselves. Why they don't just give them a bust of van Gogh himself, Flack doesn't know.
Zlat's some stunt
With Wales’ defeat by Portugal meaning the last home nation has exited (Brexited? Wexited? Oh, who cares...) Euro 2016, thoughts turn to the fierce rivals in England’s domestic league. Flack admires this cocky take on Manchester City’s famous 'Welcome to Manchester' billboard from 2009 that featured ex-United player Carlos Tevez.
This time, a huge billboard reading 'Manchester, Welcome To Zlatan' was erected over the Man City FC store last week, following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s announcement that he’ll be joining the team.
The campaign reached 46 million people worldwide, according to Social Chain, the agency behind it. Impressive, but Flack has a few doubts, especially as Social Chain freely admits it was behind the false story from last year that Arsenal were set to sign 16-year-old Rex Secco for £34m – the player doesn’t exist, but the ‘news’ reportedly received 10,000 social media mentions within two hours.
Still, if Leicester City can win the Premier League (and it could, we'll have you remember), anything seems possible.