A new hard-hitting documentary, Starsuckers, shows how easy it is to get fake celebrity stories published in our willing tabloids.
The film, which should be required viewing for all in marketing and PR, features secretly shot footage of self-confessed PR liar Max Clifford bragging about how he keeps negative stories about his clients out of the press. Judging by a presentation Clifford gave to young PR types a few years back this involves giving the tabloids alternative stories about people not represented by him, something he calls “collateral”.
For some reason Clifford is unhappy about his inadvertent contribution to Starsuckers and, according to an amusing report in Private Eye, has tried to suppress it using libel lawyers Carter-Ruck, with no success. Private Eye, with commendable and understandable enthusiasm, has published the website address for Starsuckers (www.starsuckersmovie.com) which all those who support the plastic cult of celebrity, and the toe-rag tabloids that publish the tosh, will obviously not be visiting.
Meanwhile press reviews for Starsuckers in non-tabloid organs have been very positive with The Scotsman describing Clifford’s machinations as “especially sickening” and The Observer hailing it as “Not since Triumph of the Will (Nazi propaganda documentary, for our younger readers) have so many dislikeable real-life figures been brought together in one film”.