Thursday, 26 February 2009

That Cameron / Halliday Email In Full

It's all very well us sitting here being rude about illiterate PR wonks trying to talk up rubbish pop groups and horrible hotel chains, but sometimes we get an email that stops us in our tracks and go, 'Jesus. Bill Hicks was right. These bastards really are trying to put a dollar sign on everything.' And so it was with this email we were sent from a senior LiS reporter. The story is this - a publisher has a book about child bereavement. A very well-known couple lose their first born child. Publisher smells opportunity and tries to hoik book to press. A few hours later a second email arrives - apologising profusely for the first. But, that's all a bit late, isn't it? Even if Halliday did sack the person responsible - and no names are given - it is still a place that employed people who thought it might be a good idea to punt a "soft tie-in" to one of their products as soon as they heard about the death of a profoundly disabled little boy. It's actually a bit sick-making. Anyway, this from our reporter on the scene:

Further to your Jade Goody story, it's worth noting the utter crassness of this press release, sent on the evening of the death of David Cameron's son. Complete and utter ineptitude.

Please also mention that it was followed up two hours later with a horrified email from the publisher, saying that this idiot had been suspended and offering full apologies. Credit should be given for that.


From: HallidayBooks []
Sent: 25 February 2009 21:45
To: Media List
Subject: Apology and retraction

To whom it may concern

It has been bought to my attention that on the evening of Wednesday 25th February you were sent an email by a member of my staff regarding our children’s book The Lonely Tree in connection with the sad news of the passing of David Cameron’s son. The individual concerned took it upon themselves to issue this email without consultation with any member of staff.

As Director of HallidayBooks I accept full responsibility and offer you sincere apologies and a retraction both personally and on behalf of the company for the message and any offence it may have caused.

Any recipient who requested their details be removed from our database will have their request honoured.

The individual has been suspended and action will be taken in due course. However, if you require more information regarding this matter or would like to take it further please contact me direct making your emails for my attention or by calling 01296-426671. All correspondence will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Sincerely yours

Nicholas Halliday
MD HallidayBooks

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Cancer Shtick

For the good people at Getting Personal PR there's no event they wouldn't try and attach their grim tat too - no matter how sad or unseemly. Whatever you might think of Jade Goody - whatever you might think of what she's doing - the fact remains this is a young woman who's about to die and leave two children without a mother. Still! Never mind, eh? How about an edible G-String to nibble on! Thanks to the LiS reader who sent this is - and I'm sorry you were unlucky enough to receive it.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Eating Rifles

What do we want? "Real" music! When do we want it? Not yet, maybe in a bit! Real music? You can stick "real" music right up your whatsit. Just the idea of it makes me want to throw myself out of a window. No music is "real", it's all made up, it's all confection and artistry and smoke and mirrors and, basically, lying. That's what makes it good (the stuff that is good, a lot of it is rubbish, but that's not related to it's "real"ness). Anyway, this just in from an LiS operative in the field.

I quite like The Rifles. I might even go and see them again. But sadly I am on a gluten-free diet, so will have to give them up as this press release suggests they are glutens for punishment. Awful, yes. But not as awful as the rest of this.

"The Rifles musical heroin" isn't a sentence. Is it too much to ask of Momentum PR that they might be able to type the quotes in correctly?

Also, this press release was sent to me on February 16, telling me the album is out January 26 and that I can pre-order it by buying tickets.


From: Nola Kinna []
Sent: 16 February 2009 12:47
To: undisclosed-recipients:


“There's an intoxicating maturity...that is harder to ignore the second time around” Q

“Punk-tinged ska which also packs heartfelt pop hooks” The Sun

“The Rifles are here to pop the collars on your metaphorical Harrington” The Word

“As anthemic as anything the Jam put their name to.” Clash

“All stomping , pedal to the metal guitar riffs. The Rifles musical heroin – Loaded

As the dust finally settles over the UK, the extent of the damage caused by a colossal 40 date Rifles tour is felt throughout. Sweat, blood, tears shed for the cause! As if gluten GLUTEN! AMAZING! for punishment, the East London regiment are preparing to mobilise for a further March 09 tour, determined to storm the national consciousness and plant a flag for real music. OH BRILLIANT!

If Sold Out shows at venues like Brixton Academy or the release of an exhilarating second album, ‘Great Escape’ aren’t victories enough, try this boot on for size LITERALLY TERRIBLE WRITING THERE. The Rifles are offering fans the opportunity to pre-order ‘Great Escape’ out 26th January for a discounted price, when they purchase tickets for any of the live shows available at

For further information please contact Nola Kinna at Momentum PR on BLAHBLAHBLAH

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Cut And Paste In Haste Horror

This just in from a senior LiS reporter situated somewhere nice.

Note to Will McCarthy - not everything you write needs to make it in to the press release. End of Page 2 - Fail :(

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Pelican: Cross-Making

There are two major problems with bands. One: there's way too many of them. Two: Almost none of them are anything like as good as they - and their paid-for fans in the press department - think they are. In this instance, Pelican. For a start, that's a terrible name. For another start, who, in all honesty, feels their heart beat just that little bit faster when they learn that the 'Can are part of Chicago's instrumental heavy-rock "scene"? Shall I tell you? No one at all. I worked in a record shop that stocked these sort of records for a few years and I can promise you no one cares. They are records only "loved" by people who get their records for nothing, so the albums just die in the racks, dusty and unloved, before being slung into the bargain bin to suffer some more. And how can you be "genre-defying" and still "fit right at home alongside similar bands"? How does that work, exactly?

------ Forwarded Message
From: Southern Records Promo
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 18:14:22 +0000
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: News flash - Pelican sign to Southern Lord

It is with immense reverence REVERENCE, JESUS! that Southern Lord Recordings announces the signing of Chicago heavy-rock instrumental icons *Pelican*. Their genre-defying sound and eagerness to explore new musical directions will fit right at home alongside similar bands on the label like Earth, Boris and sunn 0))). Pelican is currently at Red Room studios in Seattle, recording an EP that will be their first release on Southern Lord. The new material promises to be heavier, darker and very "riff-oriented" GREAT! comments guitarist Trevor De Brauw. A very special guest guitarist who has been heavily influential to the band will be making a guest appearance more details to be revealed shortly AMAZING!

In March Pelican will be touring alongside new label mates Wolves In The Throne Room in the US including a triumphant return to the South By South West music fest IT'S, LITERALLY, A "FEST"! in Austin, TX at the Southern Lord showcase. Upon returning home Pelican will focus their sights on their fourth full-length album. Fingers crossed for a UK tour!!! INNIT!

Thanks for your time,
Lauren Barley
UK/European PR coordinator
Southern Records

Friday, 6 February 2009

You're Aviv A Laugh, No?

Apologies, been a bit side-tracked this week and this has languished in my inbox for a week or so. What can I say? I'm a bad person. Now, I have no doubt that Aviv Geffen really is a "compassionate human being", but what, precisely, does that bring to a press release? Why mention it? What is it exactly that you're trying to say? Is it that you think that we don't think Geffen is compassionate and you're attempting to put us right? Or is it that, compared to a lot of other people, Geffen is demonstrably more compassionate? And does that mean we should think more seriously about buying his records? Only, and I don't wish to be unkind here, they're not terribly good, are they?

Anyway - thanks for getting in touch! When I pitch that feature about artists who are definitely more compassionate than other artists I'll make sure your man's right at the top of my list!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Grace Wood []


'the most powerful name in Israel's entertainment industry'

Visionary artist AMAZING! and compassionate human being DOUBLE AMAZING! Aviv Geffen is a super star SHE MEANS "SUPERSTAR" in his home SHE MEANS "HOME COUNTRY" of Israel where he outsells and often outshines, Madonna, U2 and Coldplay, yet he remains deeply connected to progression and peace, whilst an army of loyal fans have helped him reach worldwide sales of over 2.5 million. BRILLIANT SENTENCE STRUCTURE - THANKS!

His first song released in 1993 the controversial 'Cloudy Now' – which has since become his anthem – rebelliously featuring the F-word and was banned from Israeli radio, yet such was his appeal that it topped the charts. THIS BUT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE, BUT LET'S NOT WORRY ABOUT THAT, RIGHT? Two years later he publically SHE MEANS "PUBLICLY" made peace with politician Yitzhak Rabin at a political rally after singing 'Cry for You' and moments later Rabin was tragically assassinated. This has never deterred his hopeful spirit and Geffen continues to make hits, sell out 40,000 seater concerts and his female fanbase swells with young teenage women drawn to his sharp and quirky David Bowie-esque style, and his conscious and thought provoking lyrics. WELL, THAT'S "FEMALE"S, RIGHT? THEY CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES!

Aviv Geffen is not only the most iconic singer-songwriter and rock/pop superstar in his native Israel, but he is also one of its most significant and controversial voices. As Israel's answer to our Robbie or Noel THAT GOOD, REALLY?, he is, according to Forbes magazine, 'the most powerful name in Israel's entertainment industry'. Born into one of Israel's most prestigious families, Aviv first began to challenge authority at an early age. By 16 years old, he became the first person in Israel's history to refuse to do national service THIS BIT IS ACTUALLY BULLSHIT and this revolutionary move inspired Aviv's like minded young BLAHBLAHBLAH.

Now a man in his early thirties with all the homeland success he could dream of tucked under his belt GREAT WRITING!, he's approaching a whole new audience, the Europeans I LOVE EUROPEANS!. Geffen has been recording his first English language album with super producer Trevor Horn, the Grammy Award winning man behind luminary acts I LOVE LUMINARY ACTS! like; GREAT PUNCTUATION! Grace Jones, Seal, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Simple Minds, Mike Oldfield, Marc Almond, and Belle & YEAH, WEVZ.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Quote Me Unhappy

One of my real - real - pet hates is PRs going on about "FREE BOOZE AND FOOD" like that was reason enough to suffer some arse-achingly bad group / singer / performance / play / gallery opening or whatever. I am an adult with a variety of interesting jobs and, consequently, I can afford all the booze and food I need. If you want to waste your evenings hammering warm white wine while looking over your shoulder and wondering if the Rolling Rock has run out yet as some halitoidal lick-spittle in a bad suit shouts in your ear about potential sales figures, then, please, go ahead. But leave me out of it.
Anyway - this just in from a LiS reporter situated by a dramatic sweep in one of our leading rivers:

It was Transvision Vamp who said "I don't care"

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Tom Green" []
Date: 2 February 2009 17:23:35 GMT
Subject: Your invite to Ben Montague's media showcase on Tuesday 17th Feb at the 229 Club - Please RSVP


It was Eminem who said “Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted – one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?”

These words must have rung true with singer songwriter Ben Montague YES, YOU'RE RIGHT THEY MUST HAVE DONE - THIS IS A GOOD START, KEEP GOING! who, after discovering that Formula 1 boss Eddie Jordan was one of his fans, found himself rubbing shoulders GREAT PHRASE! with A-listers galore AGAIN WITH THE PHRASES! at one of his infamous Grand Prix parties. Following an impromptu collaboration by none other than Queen’s Roger Taylor and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason TWO DRUMMERS! BRILLIANT! the question was put to the crowd “Are there any musicians in the house?” WELL, NOT THOSE TWO, OBV.

With nothing to lose and everything to gain Ben took to the stage, discussed a brief set list and delivered the performance of his life flanked by two of music’s biggest legends. Half an hour, and a standing ovation later, a star was born THIS IS AMAZING STUFF - HOW CAN I HEAR THIS GUY?!

Ben Montague invites you to his media showcase HURRAY! on BLAHBLAHBLAH February at BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH (on stage at BLAHpm).

For press passes to any of his gigs or if you want to receive a copy of his debut EP BLAH BLAH BLAH then please get in contact.


Tom Green
Account Manager (Zest PR)

PS: If you want some FREE BOOZE AND FOOD to warm your cockles in all this snow then BLAH showcase is tomorrow night. The Electro Indie rockers (who have just flown in from Ireland after supporting Blah - WOW! THEY'VE BEEN ON A PLANE!) will take to the Blah (Blah Street) Stage at Blahpm – get there for Blahpm to make the most of the free booze and grub! IF YOU ARE A TRAMP WITH NOTHING BETTER TO DO, YES