Controversy good for the Brand brand?

November 1, 2008

A perfect media storm has been building in London all week. The row over Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross’ stupid phone prank has claimed a number of BBC scalps already and more could follow. But, it seems that Brand’s brand could benefit from the fuss.

[Non-UK mediaphiles click here for some background on this story]

Interviewed in the Daily Telegraph today [Friday 31 Oct], several leading British PR executives indicated that Brand’s fame and fortune can only grow as a result of the stink:

Mike Mathieson, chief executive of media agency Cake, said: “In Russell Brand’s case, there is no such thing as being too controversial. Jonathan Ross is a different case, because his behaviour has to justify his enormous salary.

“But for Russell Brand, this whole episode has given him added credibility with young people who can’t understand what all the fuss is about.” [Anita Singh in the Telegraph]

There’s another telling point here – that Brand’s young audience don’t get the joke. Why is it that crass sexual humour, betrayal of friends and undergraduate antics seems so funny to Brand’s fans?

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