For the past two weeks I have followed saga in the The Adelaide Advertiser” which has a evolved from a story written by local radio “personality” Amber Petty. I don’t know Ms Petty who seems to have risen to prominence as a broadcaster and journalist because she had a friend who met a Prince in a pub during the Olympics and became Princess.
Ms Petty then decided (I assume) that he new found fame could be better leveraged in Adelaide than her home town Sydney so ever since, she inflicted herself and her opinions upon the poor unsuspecting people of Adelaide.
Whilst I have never met Ms Petty, unlike her I have met and done business with, on occasions, the object of her recent scorn Sir Richard Branson.
Whilst telling us he “should be banned from appearing in his own commercials becasue clearly he’s having a mid air, mid-life crisis.”, she admits “I actually enjoy flying Virgin and think Sir Richard, is of course, an absolute genius.”
So is it just me that doesn’t get it … perhaps he is a flawed genius Ms Petty?
Her concerns are all a result of his “boring, out-dated thread of using women to sell a product.”
I won’t do her further justice with any more quotes I am sure if you Google Ms Petty you will find the story.
My interest in reading this fairly poor excuse for journalism (incidentally the story was accompanied by a pic of Sir Richard with some Beach babes) was more in anticipation of what may follow in Letters to the Editor.
My dealings with Sir Richard result from his personal and company support for a Charity established by my client Tatiana Grigorieva to combat child hood obesity. We found him to be a charming, respectful, supportive Gentleman who enjoyed the company of women but in no way could be guilty of any of the charges pressed by Ms Petty.
It was no surprise to see Letters to the Editor in support along with typically a few of condemnation. It was also no surprise for me to see a letter from the man himself, seizing on the opportunity for publicity that the naive (or is it coniving) Miss Petty laid at his feet.
The question I would ask her is “what was your motive in writing the article?” was it genuine distaste for the marketing of Branson or was it seizing a chance to grow her brand and further her career in the media?
Anyway Branson did it beautifully as always – “The problem, I believe, with her article is that if the next time I promote a product I line up with three male models the photo won’t get into your paper and the new business won’t get talked about.” he wrote.
His letter of course prompted another article in The Tiser this time by an objective Journalist Jessica Leo who quoted a mate and colleague, celebrity agent, Max Markson who said “I don’t believe he is alienating the female market at all. If he was, he wouldn’t be doing it.”
Then perhaps the final in the saga (for now?) a follow up Petty piece yesterday where she apologised to Branson for feeling that he was “personally attacked when I questioned a man of his age getting all sexy with a teenager or someone in her early twenties.”
But perhaps her apology was really a reason to boast as she did in her opening paragraph “There is a mix of terror and satisfaction when you realise you have exasperated a man as powerful as Sir Richard Branson, as it would appear I did in this column.”
Ms Petty I doubt very much that Sir Richard was exasperated by you and I suspect you know as well as I do he was seizing the opportunity for some outstanding coverage for his brand courtesy of your employer The Advertiser.
And to sum it all up the latest column also featured another pic Sir Richard and girls in Bikinis. Proving him right again it is the male photo editors that provide the encouragement to use young women in his promotions to get coverage for his brand.
There are some great examples and messages in this whole series, as summarised here, of how to seize the opportunity to use the media to build your brand in a manner that Advertisements never could.
I am sure Sir Richard is very grateful for the opportunity you have afforded him, as I am for the material you have provided me to use as a Case Study for my clients.