ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; Would you hire a Royal?

Neil Churchill Barnardo’s

Neil Churchill Barnardo’s

‘Royals are valuable for attracting big league donors who are prepared

to pay to attend film premi¬Ěres and galas. Hiring a Royal to raise

awareness, however, can be a mixed blessing. Often, especially of late,

the message gets lost when the charity is linked to the private life of

the Royals - distracting from what the organisation is trying to say. It

can also become politically heated. Princess Diana recently took a

political line on homelessness but I think when promoting an issue it

should be strong enough to stand on its own.’

Jackie Cooper Jackie Cooper PR

‘No, we wouldn’t for two reasons. Firstly the Royals’ PR as a whole has

not been handled well. They have lost what makes them special and

companies can no longer benefit from an association with them. Secondly,

we specialise in reaching out to consumers and the Royals are not your

average consumer, so are not relevant. Also they probably want too much


Chris Lewis Lewis Communications

‘Hiring any celebrity is ultimately a gimmick to get you noticed. It’s a

differentiator that gives a brand a personality. We hired Jim Bowen for

the same reason. Having a Royal wouldn’t be appropriate for us because

we are a small hi-tech agency - unless of course there are some anoraky

Royals around. Lots of charities have Royals as patrons and in that role

they are little more than attention getters or they add authority and

credibility. With a company like Burson-Marsteller their brand is

already so well known that they shouldn’t need to do that’

Trevor Morris Quentin Bell Organisation

‘Only to fulfil a very specific objective. Certainly not as a general

policy on the basis that it might help. Anyway, the Royals you are

likely to be able to hire are very much second division. Their pulling

power is now fairly limited in the UK.’

Maxine Smith British Heart Foundation

‘We have had Prince Philip as a patron for a number of years and most

larger charities think about which Royals might work with them but

payment doesn’t come into it. We rely on people’s goodwill with both

Royals and celebrities. Just because they may have problems in their

personal lives doesn’t mean they don’t perform at public functions. I

think the Royals do a tremendous amount of good work and are helpful for


The Big Question is edited by Lexie Goddard

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