What the papers say: Britney drops her pants to the world

US pop star Britney Spears' recent antics have triggered a global media storm.

Dumping her husband by text, incessant partying, questionable attire and extended lavatory visits with new best friends Paris Hilton and Brandon Davis. Not to mention ‘going commando' in public.

The Observer charitably suggested that Britney  ‘looked wild and happy, [and] in charge, for the first time in ages' (3 Dec). Other commentators were less certain of her new-found freedom. ‘Out-of-control Britney at risk of losing career,' warned the Daily Mail (29 Nov) - a sentiment apparently shared by old pal Madonna. ‘Madge has told Britney to stay away from Paris, chill out and get her shit together' (virgin.net, 2 December).

Such is the alleged damage to Britney's image, reports claimed that even some publicists were ‘snubbing' the pop star because ‘no one wants to take on the job of trying to salvage her reputation' (Female First, 27 Nov).

This was also a contentious issue, however. US Weekly editor Janice Min asserted: ‘There is no such thing as bad publicity for a celebrity… it is all about being the buzz of the day' (Reuters, 2 Dec).

But no one could deny the performer's ability to grab attention.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow

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