MARK MY WORDS

Mark’s view

Whenever the news agenda hits hysteria point, Mark offers thoughtful analysis, a wry point of view and an insider’s insight

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Latest ‘MARK MY WORDS’ Blog Posts

  • Relevance can’t be faked, but agility can be learned

    We all knew Meghan Markle was coming and that she was going to be news. But as Prince Harry’s new fianceé admitted herself in that joyful interview, even she didn’t quite realise how huge. If ever a news story coincided with the zeitgeist and had a perfect symbol, Meghan is it. Her official arrival this […]

  • To delete, or not to delete? That is the question

    Of course, my filter bubble matters. Some argue it’s a world that matters most to me and it’s true that it shifts daily, shaping my views and an ethereal existence in my head. The barrage of information I consume is vast and instant. Nevertheless, I constantly check to consider how it shapes my perception and experience […]

  • Paradise Papers – winners and losers

    Increasingly it seems the rich have a dilemma. When does the reputational damage incurred by being hauled across the coals for using tax havens outweigh the financial benefits? Granted, siphoning wealth through a Maltese bank to buy a Lithuanian shopping mall isn’t exactly John le Carre levels of sinister. But when it happens to Bono […]

  • Trump’s mastery is selling doubt

    Where were you on the day Donald J Trump released not quite all of the classified files on the JFK? It does not take a mind riven by conspiratorial angst to suspect that the president’s championing of the scheduled release of the million-plus page report on Kennedy’s assassination is a distraction tactic. But what from? […]

  • With the Weinstein revelations, the tide is turning on media protection of stars

    If the money’s flowing the questions stop. This was what precipitated the downfall of Bell Pottinger: the PR firm lost the plot over what its South African subsidiary was up to and see a toxic campaign ultimately reduced the behemoth to rubble. Similar dynamics are at work in the conditions that allowed 30 years of predatory abuse […]

  • From May to Balding: lose yourself

    The saga of #Baldingate continues to rage. Showbiz journalist Ginny Dougary claims Clare Balding’s PR team took heavy-handed liberties with her interview copy, removing unflattering sections and inserting self-promoting fluff. Balding and the editors of the publication maintain that the responsibility of the edit lay entirely in the hands of the magazine. We’d half expect […]

  • May re-branded could yet disrupt Labour’s momentum

    As the artificial mist from its post-conference grime party settles Labour’s proximity to power hasn’t seemed this real in ages. This is a remarkable turnaround for a party that only last year seemed utterly divided between the doldrums of the conference centre and the radical energy of the Momentum fringe events. How can the Tories […]

  • We risk learning the wrong lessons from Bell Pottinger’s demise

    All that remains of Bell Pottinger is a burnt-out shell. Scraps will be salvaged and the less toxic parts could, with careful handling, be rebranded into something vaguely respectable. But the company as we know it has been read its last rights. Few will mourn. Stirring up racial tension in a country where sensitivities are […]

  • Recalibrating the Moral Compass

    The emerging scandal in South Africa involving PR giants Bell Pottinger, and the country’s most infamous family dynasty, is a spectacular emergency; if the global public cared more about Africa it would be a wildfire. Bell Pottinger dispute the allegations, but that hasn’t stopped them being found guilty of breaching the PRCA’s code of conduct. It has already […]

  • Could South African Sleaze Force PR to Clean Up its Act?

    The emerging scandal in South Africa involving PR giants Bell Pottinger, and the country’s most infamous family dynasty, is a spectacular emergency; if the global public cared more about Africa it would be a wildfire. Allegations of race-baiting and shady dealings normally sink companies and governments; several have already gone here, and the Gupta family […]

  • We need to talk about Edinburgh

    I’ve been going to the Fringe Festival for as long as I can remember. It remains the seminal arts event in Britain today, only behind Glastonbury in its symbolism. But this year, I couldn’t help but detect a lethargy about the place. There’s the usual press of bodies on the Royal Mile, as tourists, festival […]

  • Love Island and the Overexposed Millennial

    It’s a curious thing, modern Britain. For almost a week, we’ve been openly discussing that great taboo, pay. for even longer though, we’ve been talking about sex. Not even the clammy, soul-cleaving let-down kind most Brits endure, but high-octane, tanned, effervescent and salubrious copulating. Mail mouthpiece Peter Hitchens referred to it in his column as […]

  • Now is the winter of our dis-content: A glossary for the times we live in

    Do you confuse your branded storytelling with your sponsored content? Are you disruptive or merely a dial-mover? How old is too old to be millennial? If these questions keep you up at night then you clearly aren’t on the right sedative. For the rest us, I’ve been mulling over some of the phrases that have […]

  • From fake to fomo- what you were really missing out on at Cannes Lions

    FOMO. Fear of missing out. One eye always on a more interesting interlocutor. In Cannes there is always a party more glamorous and exclusive that has passed you by. The yacht will have sailed before you even knew it. Forget the smiles and the sun. The all-pervasive sense that you get from a certain type […]

  • BBC needs to talk value [Drum]

    Something most un-British is happening in the national conversation: we’re talking about pay. The six figure salaries of top TV talent and the payslips of public sector workers are two very different issues. Yet both come down to the matter of value and worth. The BBC has been forced kicking and screaming to make the […]

  • Let’s not give up on truth.

    Working out exactly what’s distinctive about Borkowski as an agency, what makes it tick, and why it’s been so successful has taken a long time. It’s only now, nearly thirty years since the agency was founded, that it’s possible to provide a semi-systematised overview of something which has been instinctual for years. We tell stories, […]

  • When will the likes of Walkers learn that people do not love brands? (Drum)

    The hijacking of Walkers’ Champions League promo – which asked fans to tweet selfies to be included alongside Gary Lineker – begs the question: how did no one see that coming? As ever in new media land, the idea would have gone through countless planning sessions and stress tests. Each time bearded Dalstonian (apologies) creatives […]

  • Boo Netflix all you like, it’s here to stay

    Second to the Palm d’Or the greatest achievement a filmmaker can hope for from a trip to Cannes is a good old booing. A very special kind of cacophony is rewarded to a film that succeeds in irritating le bon goût of French cineastes- it’s less of a boo and more like the mooing of […]

  • Corbyn's Labour manifesto: when is a leak not a leak? (The Drum)

    Jeremy Corbyn has always insisted that Labour policy be decided by consultation and debate. With the leaking of a draft of the party’s manifesto, Labour has launched its most ambitious act of policy crowdsourcing. As a pundit pointed out, leaking the manifesto is probably the surest way of getting the media to seriously read it. […]

  • Brad’s second coming

    Antiquity had the crucifixion. The French Republic had the Guillotine. For us the arena for bringing down the high and mighty is the tabloid mud pit. Lucky for our modern Dauphins reputational execution is not as lasting as actual decapitation and a second chance is always on the table. In his tell-all interview with GQ […]