Given the payback of publicity, crime pays

“The confession comes as Ramsay opens his first pub.”

It may seem strange to start a blog post with a quote from midway through a paper media piece, but this is the insightful sentence in The Guardian’s exclusive revelation that Gordon Ramsay stole the reservation book of Aubergine, the restaurant run by his one-time mentor and long-time tormentor, Marco Pierre White. However, it is just a sentence. And not a criminal one, yet.

So Ramsay’s suddenly decided to reveal that he stole the book. He could end up in hot water. He could be prosecuted. But for a man worth over 60 million pounds, well, the publicity is worth the outlay. “Ramsay opens new restaurant” is probably not news. “Ramsay stole the book” probably is.

It comes on the back of the Observer’s publication of an extract from a conman’s memoirs of, well, being a conman. The article’s footnote states that he contributed all proceeds of the review to charity. Fine. What about the resultant book sales from the publicity?

I had hoped that the days of any publicity being good publicity had ended. It seems however that journalists really do just believe that any news is good news, without really finding ‘the story’: that, given the payback of publicity, crime pays.

PS And having eaten at both restaurants I can tell you that Aubergine is better.

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