Sony BMG rethinks PR for ‘X-Factor’ winner

Sony BMG is to use Neil Reading PR to promote the winner of ITV pop talent blockbuster The X-Factor.

Organisers are eager to avoid a repeat of the aftermath of last year's contest, whose winner Steve Brookstein quickly flopped and has since hit out at the show.

Shayne Ward is the bookies' favourite this year. Boyband duo Journey South are also hotly tipped, while The Conway Sisters are rank outsiders among the remaining eight acts.

The Outside Organisation last year handled a similar brief but is not involved this time round. 

Neil Reading told PRWeek: 'The standard of talent is a lot higher this year – two or three acts in particular are very strong. We do have a skeleton strategy in place [to attempt to ensure career longevity].

When we get nearer to the final we will have a firmer strategy.'
This year's winner will be revealed on 17 December – it is undecided whether the first single will be released before or after Christmas.

The tabloids continue to covet tales of contestants on The X-Factor, which last year notched up 22 million votes from viewers.
Neil Reading PR last year promoted a DVD that resulted from the show. It will publicise a similar DVD this time round, in addition to a 40-track compilation CD and gig tour – and any losing contestants that Sony BMG signs up.

PR for the show itself continues to be handled by Sara Lee, a publicist at Talkback Thames, and ITV publicist Ben Webster.

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