"As a 31-year-old multimillionaire stockbroker, Belfort once landed his
helicopter on his back lawn, flying with just one eye open because he
was so stoned he had double vision. He sank his 167ft motor yacht,
complete with seaplane and helicopter, after overruling the captain and
taking it into a Mediterranean storm."
"A pioneer in promoting office bonding activities, Belfort thought it
would improve morale if staff were encouraged to have sex with each
other whenever they could, even under the desks. There were
mid-afternoon "coffee breaks" with a troupe of hookers in the office
car park. One office junior agreed to have her hair shaved off on the
trading floor in return for $5,000 for a breast job."
There is much more of this here. And they'll be a book, and a film.
Open PR Week every week, and they're always there. Open necked shirt, just drunk a smoothie, and then a moan about "PR needing to take its deserved seat at the top table" because they're not there.
Meanwhile in the real world, PR is deciding who will get the world's most powerful job. Mark Penn's got to be a busy bloke. We've all got meetings to go to, but being Chairman & CEO of Burson Marsteller can't see you at home for the opening titles of Eastenders too often. If you're also the man that's running Hillary Clinton's groaning White House campaign, then client status meetings are sure to be taking a back seat too. Strumpette gives an appraisal of how Penn's doing at his job-on-the-side, so I won't bother rehashing it and pretending its my own. My point is, the PR man is in charge.
Over a pint or driving a cab, your default one sentence verdict on the US election is of course, that Obama is all mouth and no trousers - or "all hat and and no cattle" according to Hillary. (I assume Penn wrote that). Whether the Obama rhetoric is empty or rich, The Economist put together a convincing argument for allowing vapid PR people like ourselves to get the keys. Arguing that the Presidency is constitutionally weak, it said that "the best presidents are like magnets below a piece of paper, invisibly aligning iron filings into a new pattern of their making. Anyone can get experts to produce policy papers. The trick is to forge consensus to get those policies enacted."
My job involves persuading people to consume the products I want them to, without them really knowing. The Economist says that the US President needs the same skill set. Those skills ought to be enough to get you a meeting with a senior brand manager.
GMTV (the UK's version of breakfast TV on a sofa) is pleasant and nice. All the presenters clean their teeth, have sex once a week never stooping to use pornography, and don't do anything to upset anyone ever. A couple of weeks ago, GMTV rounded up 5 fat people into a pen and took them off to a cold island off the Scottish coast. Called 'Fat Club' or something, they were packed off to a retreat at the expense of a variety of pharmaceutical and nutritional companies. The watching population sat at home tucking into its Frosties, and thanked God it wasn't them, patting its collective belly contentedly.
Tabloid supplements, celebrity supermarket magazines are up to it too - reproducing the same seared tuna and green bean recipes plus the exercise tips, week in week out. We're a fat nation, and there's money to be made from offering up a dream of getting thin from the comfort of armchair. God help us if we have to get up and do something about it.
So surprise surprise - GMTV's lead story at 7.30am this morning was a spin on the latest piece of research from UCL saying that being fat's all in the genes. They know their market well - just the thing to put a leaden-footed spring in the step of Britain's morbidly obese. Surprise, surprise - plenty of others have jumped on it too.
There seems to be a lot of people not really talking to each other. A joining up of all the hot air is required. Perhaps a celebrity chef, a scientist, a government minister and a cuddly breakfast TV show could for once - put commercial interests aside - and tackle the fact people are fat and getting fatter. Trouble is - people getting fatter is a nice little money earner. Why bother?