It is time for the British media to end their unholy alliance with the publicist Max Clifford. Max plies his trade by doing deals and peddling untruths, he says so himself and I have witnessed it at first hand.
If Max wants to be part of the story then his own integrity should come under press scrutiny. During the sad demise of Jade Goody he was ever present but I have never seen him asked or answering the question as to whether his normally substantial fees have gone towards Jade’s estate or the future of her family.
The public relations industry has never been particularly celebrated for its ethics. In fact we PR people are right up there with politicians and journalists in terms of how our honesty is often perceived. To some extent we only have ourselves to blame and in part it is because we allow the line between Public Relations advisers and publicists to become blurred. Public Relations is a strategic marketing discipline, whereas publicity is a rather more straightforward activity that more readily accepts compromise. In some cases both publicists and journalists have gone along with the old maxim to never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
At the heart of the social web is the concept of transparency. The access that it affords should mean we are at the beginning of the end for publicists like Clifford.