The Drum Show 28/11/19
[00:00:17] Hello and welcome to the Drum powered by Disruptive Live, I’m Rebecca Sheir, senior reporter at The Drum and State. I’m joined by PR guru Mark Zeitels, group chief exec of the Beyond Collective, and Eva Simpson, journalist at The Delimiter. Following a few weeks in which we’ve had some royal drama on the form of a new series of the Crown and that BBC interview with Prince Andrew. We’re going to be chatting about the royal family and whether Brian Windsor can weather the latest storm. First up, though, let’s take a look at the stories that have been making the headlines over the past seven days. Another week, another we work sorry, this time around, Maurice Levy’s decision to take on the role of interim CMO for the troubled business has left the ad industry stunned. Publicists former head honcho as one of three senior appointments made by the business following the departure of controversial CEO Adam Neiman. Levy told The Drum this week that we weren’t quite decided to hire publicists to help restore trust and deliver profitable growth for the upstart. As part of that agreement, the adviser has been asked to help fix the firm’s marketing and communication issues with senior reporter Katie Dayton’s analysis on the dot coms a year adland Hatice about the higher. And another week, another sports story, sports on AIX is to rebrand the freezer’s group and the latest turnaround plans by owner Mike Ashley. The budget sports shop said the proposed rebound brand, which shareholders will vote to approve on 16th of December, is designed to reflect the changing profile and consumer proposition of the group. It also claims the nickname will show is no longer just in the sports apparel market, which is true to be fair, since it’s been selling those giant cops for years. Now this comes as no surprise move to six months after the company described the host of Fazer brand as terminal. And following Vice Media’s acquisition of Refinery29, Jacklin Cavenagh has been promoted from V.P. of revenue to senior VP, head of international cabinet who appeared on the Trump Show just earlier this month, will take the reins of the business outside America. She’ll be responsible for leading Refinery29 digital business internationally. And in that, no time to talk to our guests about their stories that caught their eye this week. Eva, let’s start with you.
[00:02:27] What story caught your eye this week was another busy news week. But the story that I would say that caught my eye was the story about The View cinemas in which they decided to pull a film that blew story because there was some they say there were twenty five incidents of violence. And so they pulled the film. But no other cinema chain chose to do that.
[00:02:45] But I think, weirdly, it probably in the long run is going to get more publicity and more ticket sales for that film because they probably kind of dreamed of having such publicity before the film’s release. Yeah, that was quite a misstep from view. There wasn’t. It was quite a misstep.
[00:03:00] And I mean, the the director said that the film company offered to pay for security around the film and around screenings, but that that wasn’t taken up. So there was obviously a lack of planning that went into it. But the incident that sparked the the banning of the film was actually took place at a frozen screenings. So how the two are linked, goodness knows. But he knew it would all kick off further. Yeah.
[00:03:24] Barney Marquart story caught your eye this week or a series of stories.
[00:03:29] I think, actually, you know, we are in the middle of a general election campaign at the moment. And there seems to be leaders and on both sides making catastrophic catastrophic errors by not recognising exactly what the people want. My favourite was actually the film Michael Krick made for Male Plus TV, where he he went on the stoop with the Ashfield MP Lee Anderson and and uncovered quite a prefabricated sort of attempt for this man to seem normal to his. And it resulted in this hysterical film where weeks, just weeks before these MP had told the world that, in fact, homeless people and scrounges, as we call them, should be put in tents and should be then put in the potato and vegetable fields to to pick vegetables. He wouldn’t comment on that statement and then knocked on the door of a hapless resident he’d set up who then brought up the story he was trying to ignore for Michael Craig and said that his MP wasn’t going far enough. They should be flogged and all the time because of this poor MP, hapless MP holding his hands. And the same, I think, for Jeremy Corbyn on the anti-Semitic sort of who are obviously where the chief rabbi steps in and is not able to, you know, apologise and had this ridiculous paraphernalia in terms of language that actually caught fire. And, of course, the other problems on the Tories not putting up senior people, which has provoked Piers Morgan to go to most people this morning being Matt Hancock. So everybody is doing proving that the election teams are not really coping with the social media age here at all.
[00:05:15] Piers Morgan with a marriage as a journalistic hero, while this unlikely story.
[00:05:21] Well, no, I think he will probably support this. But he’s a he’s a he’s a smart man. And I think that’s a huge amount of hate because he goes by the Donald Trump sort of Bonamassa point of view on publicity. More is more, you know, and, you know, he he’s he’s a very good journalist. And anybody who says, I just don’t understand this or and what he’s actually perfected, I’m sure there’ll be more election stories this week.
[00:05:51] And you’ve got a slightly different story, haven’t you?
[00:05:54] I I enjoyed reading about over the Green Energy Companies, new research they published, which generated a good headline and how brilliant the methodology behind their research is. I don’t know, although they did work with Tim Bernoulli’s brother Mike Berners Lee to explore the methodology. But the research basically demonstrated that on average in the UK we write sixty four four million emails, too many from an environmental point of view, which contributes to thirty one thousand tonnes of carbon equivalent to eighty one thousand flights to Madrid. And that we should be we should be refraining from sending one thank you email per day to make up the difference. And when I receive the link to this article, I couldn’t thank the person who sent it to me. Instead, I texted her and then I thought, oh, my God, text is probably just as bad. So I’m totally paralysed by it. Although I imagine, you know, we’ve, you know, everything now is so inextricably linked. It’s impossible, I guess, to know how to manoeuvre when it comes to letter. You can send a nice letter. Yeah, I know. It’s I think of the carbon footprint. Yeah. I’m sure, I’m sure. Yeah, and I’ll get a text back from the letter or something, but that was the thing that struck me this week.
[00:07:08] Yeah, that’s a really interesting story, I think.
[00:07:10] I wonder how many emails all saying about it actually amplify their own story, because let’s be honest, they’re commissioning an interesting survey to generate headlines and where this headline is going to be consumed in digital media. And so it feels like kind of counter intuitive. Yes, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Right.
[00:07:30] That’s a big question about the PR industry, about their carbon footprint, because it’s so much bullshit they’re destroying every item on the planet. So think about it. The trips that, you know, one of my very one of my AIX AIX folk is now a significant player in a big agency. And he spends all this time on an aeroplane going to talks. Yeah, talking about interesting subjects. But, you know, to you know, we still think about we should think about what we should be doing.
[00:07:59] If you talk on Skype and as you say, that generates a certain fair share of carbon emissions. Yeah, yeah.
[00:08:07] It would have thought. I mean, you know, Coldplay not only this week, you know, there’s a Ray Davies flew over there.
[00:08:16] I began to think, yeah, just think of what it takes to launch an album, you know, in terms of the lift or the stadium. Spectacular. So people travelling from all over tiny little villages to turn up to the big stadium. I mean, you do your head hurts. And when you when you’re dipping into the whole idea of what is happening to the planet, God bless. So, you know, but it’s it’s it’s a complex world as.
[00:08:42] Well, that is a whole other issue and VMware sort of thing that we could say about coming back to kind of big story from past two weeks and that Prince Andrew interview. And, you know, over the past two weeks as a song called IoT, we’ve seen brands that associate themselves and the prince, the queen. And she sacked her. She’s cancelled his birthday party. And that kind of thing would be tomorrow. Yeah. She’s the only woman to ever follow through on foreign policy. OK. And, you know, it really was quite extraordinary. It was an amazing coup for the BBC as well. But I want to talk about it from a PR perspective and whether Brand, Windsor or the Royals can weather a storm. So, Mark, maybe you could start, you know, why would Prince Andrew do this interview in the first place?
[00:09:25] Well, I you know, I think it’s quite well, I do. I do in.
[00:09:30] Right. And, you know, even I have seen some, you know, some classic faux pas, the royal family over the years. So then, you know, in fairness, they’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t. It is the most horrendously difficult job to manoeuvre positive headlines if you’re a member of the royal family. But actually, they’ve been reshaping the way they talk to their subjects. And actually, Harry and William, before they arrive on the scene, were starting to really make sense. What royal family could be beyond the queen because it’s a band. So there’s never been a happy medium for a senior royal. Andrew is not a senior royal to actually get in front of the cameras. You know, Diana, Charles, it’s a royal knockout. It’s all been a disaster. But this is a classic case of hubris, which you see in man of a certain generation, CEOs or whatever, who absolutely think I can manage this. There was no preparation. I think by by Thursday when the news is coming out, I thought this is a disaster. There’s no need to do it. But what we’re seeing here is Prince Andrew has great purpose in his life in terms of supposedly helping British industry having pitch at the palace and of course, the Eppstein Odah, the bad smell of his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein wouldn’t go away. So someone somewhere decided it would be a good, good thing to acquiesce to the BBC’s charm offensive to get an interview. I mean, allowing a camera for an hour into your life is you don’t have to be a PR professional saying mean I’ve lost control and of course, no preparation, zero preparation and a decision made by him and supposedly his office. The PR person who was advising him left months ago. And this is this is arrogance. This is a choice of languages, is something with no cultural connexion to give the car crash interview. And for any student of PR, just look at that and realise that is how not to do it. And of course, this sets a cataclysmic series of events because people are looking at it with their jaw dropping, you know, better than the crown, better than the current series of the McLEAR.
[00:11:46] And I had a lot of action.
[00:11:49] And by the following morning, you know, we’re seeing four pages and they have not gone away. And of course, all the people who he thought he could draw a line under this told his mother. On Friday, I think it went well, I’d given a quota, I’d give them a quote to tweet and give a quote to pay about it. I got a phone call from someone whose family name is saying al-Malki being very critical, Leprince, as some attempt to shut me up. And I went through the seven things that any PR person would say about the interview and the person melted away. But it’s it’s been a disaster. It is a disaster. And it’s a seismic shock for the Rubrik wasn’t just mean.
[00:12:32] The initial mistake was to take part in it. But then the second mistake was a lack of preparation. Yeah. And in terms of the interview itself, I didn’t actually see on the night, so I thought I read all the headlines next and I thought this can’t be as bad surely as everyone’s saying. And I watch worse than I imagined it could be. I mean, he’s talking about not sweating. So LinkedIn Pizza Express.
[00:12:55] Yeah. So there was somebody with a broken bone in your neck.
[00:13:00] Where is all this coming from? And this sort of a lack of contrition or any sort of emotional feelings towards the it has lack of empathy. The number one thing, if you’re going to go on a programme to give your side of the story, which is always a bad idea and it always ends badly until it ends in tears, these to show empathy and you go on the first thing you do is say that you feel for the victims and you empathise.
[00:13:25] You don’t go on and distort start.
[00:13:26] Yeah, but there’s something like they’ve been through things like this before. You know, they’re no stranger to controversy and they’ve had Prince Harry, not the Queens. You know, they’ve been in the headlines, have been in the tabloids for years. But even from a journalistic point of view, do you think this is one story that’s just going to linger?
[00:13:45] The lingering stench on that story will definitely linger is it’s I can’t think of a bigger royal story. No sense. Not so SD-Wan. And yeah, I mean, and it will linger because it was just going to go on and on. And Prince said he’s willing to sort of talk to the authorities. What does that look like to does you have to go to America to be interviewed by the FBI? Then I come over here. I mean, and then there’s going to be another interview with one of the alleged victims on Panorama in a few weeks. And again, it just keeps and every time you see that picture of him with his arm and he said it would have been DR around. Yeah, but what they do, they are they just keep reminding you of this. And it’s just I think it’s a great idea, very decisive of the queen to say, OK, you don’t need to step away from there was not there was nowhere else to go. Yeah. There’s so much footage of us.
[00:14:32] Think about all the amateur video editors having a field day, taking all that footage and splicing and gifs, six second level videos, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:14:41] I mean, there’s so much rich entertainment value for the day. That’s what he did. I mean, he gave the means buzzing ten thirty at night were incredible. I mean, you know, doctoring of the TripAdvisor for Pizza Express and working.
[00:14:55] Is anybody going to believe it didn’t pass a common sense test? Because you’ve got to think of your audience. You think of you looking at that and thinking, does it make sense to them? And people know that you break up with people and supposedly broke up with Epstein. He’s a decent man. No one takes four days to break up with somebody and no one goes to that to that house. And everybody knows a real family knows that once you’re out, you’re cut dead then. And the statement that was issued on Thursday, withdrawing from public life and showing empathy and distance himself from that scene. That was the statement that she’d been put at ten years ago. Yeah. When this man was convicted for appalling crimes. And it’s it’s not just bad judgement. It’s hubristic to actually think you can continue a friendship with someone when you are the front for industry and picture the palace, which did good work, which is all in tatters.
[00:15:50] And I see it from the founding of the brand.
[00:15:55] And what would you advise the royal family today where it’s just for analysis just now post?
[00:16:00] I think, you know, there are many great brands that have done many things and many wrong things, and they’re still here today. You know, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, there are a lot of companies out there having to right their wrongs, either coming clean on how they make things like Amazon and how they treat their staff, et cetera, et cetera. So this idea of an institution being under the IoT ceremony and having to rebuild itself is not an uncommon, you know, is not something we haven’t seen before. And I think there’s so much love for the royal family. I think, you know, I read that the royal family brings 84 million pounds worth of revenue to the UK, albeit through its own businesses or the the entertainment industry that creates around it. So there’s a huge economy around it. I think there’s a huge love for the royal family. I think everyone’s probably embarrassed. I think the royals just wanted to survive, modernise and succeed again. So I think I think definitely and I don’t think I don’t think Prince Andrew was ever the beacon of hope for young people when it came to reconnect with the royal family. It was it was about, you know, the. Brothers are never home, so I think it will be forgotten. I think Trump and many people today say many things and and get away with it and it will be a distant memory. There’ll be another tragic moments in the history of the royal family and controversies. I’m sure it will happen. I think he’s just going to be taken away pretty much forever. And I think there needs to be a management team there to understand how brands and reputation are built and realise that thanks to digital media, the royal family is not a secret. We learn about with, you know, through little snippets or photographs. It’s actually something of live visible every day. And therefore there needs, therefore, people in their lives and their opinions to be organised appropriately. So I think they can definitely get through it. They will get through it. This is the end. But yeah, it is. It is fascinating. There was a guy who wrote a paper for Bradford University on the five hours of being royal from a brand point of view. And they talked about royalty being regal, being respectable, responsible. I think that interview pretty much destroyed, destroyed all the principles of brand building when it came to the royal family. But I think they can. They can do. I think they would. They hired and fired a lot of new young marketing PR talent over the last few years. So, yeah, they they can do I can do it for them.
[00:18:21] They could hire you.
[00:18:23] I think there’s a greater problem here. There’s a greater problem. Yes. The royal family over the years have actually survived from abdications, you know, and it’s about a decade, Diamont, that Diana actually created a seismic change in the way the royal family communicated. And you’ve got two young brothers. And I would say it’s fair possibly to suggest that the royal family do not like engaging with the media. And that was part of the Prince Andrew problem. There’s a man who’s never, never, never gave the press, never gave an interview. All of a sudden, he’s going to be a communicator on TV overnight. That’s not going to happen. Someone who is sort of, you know, rude to royal correspondents, I’ve been told. But the thing is that there’s a there’s a there’s been a guiding principle through this royal communication practise, which is never explain, never complain, because it is like no other institution, no other intrusion or Hollywood megastar or brand. It is peculiarly British and it comes with a legacy. The problem that they got is what happens to the royal brand when the queen passes and that’s gonna have a seismic effect. Second would be the seismic effect on the psyche of this nation.
[00:19:32] There would be something there’s been whether you’re a royalist or you’re you or your auntie, the monarchy is sitting there.
[00:19:39] There’s something about it always remains. And I think their struggle at the moment is what will the royal family stand for when that Elizabethan age changes? So the connexion with the younger generation, my son is 14 and his friends.
[00:19:54] And if Prince Harry and Megan had a baby tomorrow, he would see who was zero interest.
[00:20:01] Yeah. So you’ve got that whole generation who are growing up with not much of a connexion, correct. With the royal family. And so what is their purpose? What role do they feel? Yeah, so and it’s heading to that ceremonial duty.
[00:20:14] And that’s when this country pulls off, you know, those great state occasions. You know, when you when Donald Trump rolls into town and you walk down the mount or whatever, it just engages and they click bait. You know, Megan has proved to be phenomenal. Click click bait across the world for the royal family, but they’re still struggling with that tradition. What it means, distrust of the media. If you think of you think of their social media campaigns, particularly with the sausage roll around, it is disrupted the way the royal family communicate because it’s actually more powerful. And we’re looking now not so much on the royal family, but a Game of Thrones episode, three very different houses. And you can’t spend, as I used to be able to say, I’m very good professionals. People like Paddy Harverson came in, did a remarkable job in terms of bringing all back together. But this idea that they can be as touchy feely as they hope to be and Charles has actually gone without any real attention. And he was made this absolutely bull’s eye point there, that what is a younger, more, more more detached from the traditions, you know, going to make of it in a modern, modern, multicultural Britain?
[00:21:30] Great. Well, I’m sure this will rumble on. And I’m sure the Clarities 15 is going to be fascinating to see how to care. And but thanks, guys, back to you in a little while. But next up, it’s time for Blue Chip Password’s.
[00:21:48] Now, if there’s one thing we all hate in this business is jargon, each week we ask one industry luminary to share their Blue Chip US word they’d love to banish from the Adlen lexicon. Today, we have Andrew Roberts, co-founder of Gravity Banking and one of the judges of the drama agency Business Awards. More on that later, though. Let’s hear the buzz word that really green to give his first 100.
[00:22:07] Roberts I’m a partner of a Valley group and my Blue Chip password is generation. Anything AIX, Millennial, whatever else you want to attach to it. Nobody should be defined by the year they were born or their age should be more about their belief, their mindset, what they’re into and associated cultural elements that you should be talking to them about rather than the age they are and the year they were born.
[00:22:33] And just coming back, your guess for one minute what Blue Chip buzzword? Where do you guys want to banish SD-Wan to start?
[00:22:38] Well, I put this to my agency and I got back the word shockingly from probably one of the most diverse individuals in the company, the word diversity. Yeah. And I’m saying, hey, guys, do I agree or not? I kind of get the point, the frustration, which is there’s a lot of that. There’s there’s a lot of complex debate. There’s a hugely powerful good point in the heart of it. But how helpful is that controversy and all the noise and how much of it is about building people’s individual platforms versus actually making a difference? And this person in the office called out because they’re like, you know, I don’t really connect to this macro debate being here. Right. By big, big industry personalities. I’d like to ban the word diversity. And as I said, I don’t know if I agree, but I thought that was interesting.
[00:23:27] Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Yeah. What word would you get the top thing. OK, well, let you think for a minute.
[00:23:34] But now I have to bite my time because I actually heard myself using a little bit brand narrative, this whole idea and brand personality. And I think the larger, the larger point here is sort of the marketing media advertising will talk about themselves to themselves and they’re not using the language of people. We’re an election campaign. We saw it in Prince Andrew interview is how did you get to a more simplistic, straightforward language is not covered with these with these words. And when you’re sitting down in a meeting listening to somebody from an agency or somebody from the brand talking about their brand personality or just thinking, what are you talking about, what really are you talking about? And if you went into a pub and started talking about it, that’s a stress test for those words, because hubris, our bubbles are going to break out of the people who break out the bubbles of the and we’re all part of it. I’m not saying I’m immune from that. I think you you find yourself in a much stronger place to go, but maybe other counts.
[00:24:40] But the word apple was not like it is Stakeholders’.
[00:24:43] Things like that always comes up in meetings, as they call them, that they think in very formal.
[00:24:50] Yeah, yeah. And not very engaging.
[00:24:53] OK, thanks guys. We’ll make sure they’re is. And now it’s time for our Work of the Week. Shares the world’s best known advertising and design work on a dedicated platform. Creative works. You can even post your own work there for the world to enjoy our readers vote on the projects they like most actioner work of the week. So let’s take a look at who’s taken the accolade this week.
[00:25:22] Enjoy your time off. Thanks, you, too. Oh, I forgot this is for you. Oh, thanks, boss. I. Together, you know, it’s not so much.
[00:26:21] It’s the New York, a sport which features a group of woodland creatures that aim to turn a ticket to their local park ranger. It’s called special delivery, and it was created by McCudden, New York’s well done time. You can vote for your favourite ads each week on the Dolans Creative Work Section, which is sponsored by Adobe Stock Only. And finally, here’s an overview of what’s coming up in the next seven days and the world of the drum. The winners of both the Social Buzz Awards and the drum agency Business Awards were announced this week. Winners of the agency awards included Manifest X and Y, Iris and social buzz words. Those people took them to office. And you can find out more on the website. And that’s it for another episode of the show, do you follow us on Twitter and on LinkedIn for future updates? Take care.