HOW I SEE IT - Steve Martin, Chief executive, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment
AEG Live was hit with a crisis for which no company could really plan. Although it should have a crisis plan in place, its energy will have been focused on a proactive media approach, as Jackson was rehearsing only 24 hours before his death. The risks associated with Jackson were obviously not known to the AEG team and the media time bomb was set off when news of his death broke.
How AEG has handled it has been impressive. At first it simply issued a statement that its thoughts were with his family. Although it followed up with news of a possible tribute gig and that tickets would be refunded, the best was left to last. The news that fans could choose to receive a souvenir ticket instead of a refund was a masterstroke, as they tend to collect everything with his name or face on it.