He continued: 'I've never knowingly received a press release, acted on a press release or gone out to dinner with a PRO. It's out of boredom rather than principle.'
But what did the industry make of all this? Is AA guilty of underestimating PROs' influence? Actually, all of the restaurant PROs that Diary called for a reaction were far too prudent to respond with similar vitriol, but they were keen to point out that his barb did seem somewhat unfair.
Sauce Communications co-founder Jo Barnes, who handles PR for Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, asked: 'Is he referring to PROs who liaise with his editor when it comes to deciding the places he will go to? Or the PROs who talk to his copydesk when it comes to fact-checking or who help to source pictures?'
She added: 'He does not realise how much work we do with his editorial team, behind the scenes.'