Thanks Max Clifford, shyster extrordinare and the very definition of a snake oil salesman, for that one. Clifford is one of the reasons the Public Relations industry has such a bad name.
He’s the sort of person who argues that Public Relations practitioners do not have a duty to the truth. The man who the dregs of society go to if the want to extend their fleeting and utterly undeserved 15 minutes of fame.
I’m not denying that Clifford is good at his job. He is more connected with, and holds more dirt on, the media than anyone in the UK. He is a master publiscist who earns his money the hard way.
However, when your career is built lying to the press (the infamous “Freddie Starr ate my hamster” headline was a completely fabricated masterstroke) and selling “kiss and tell” stories to various UK rags, it’s easy to see why he may not be the best de facto spokesperson for an industry trying to recover its reputation…
It doesn’t help much when every mention of his name in the media is prefixed with the words “PR Guru”. I know of at least one magazine in the UK who retained a PR agency with the sole objective of replacing Max Clifford as the go to source for opinion on Piublic Relations issues.