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A New Era for James Bond – The Idris Elba Debate

A New Era for James Bond – The Idris Elba Debate

Being a big James Bond fan and potentially an even BIGGER Idris Elba fan, I was more than a little bit excited when I heard that the man himself is rumoured to be next in line to take on the world’s most iconic film role. However, it seems, not everyone reacted to this particular Sony leak with as much joy.

Idris Elba James Bond The PHA Group

‘Image courtesy of DFID on Flickr’

The debate began when American talk show host Rush Limbaugh sparked furore when he stated that Idris Elba ‘could not’ play Bond ‘because he is black.

Taking his comment a step further he then expressed that the idea of casting Elba in the iconic 007 role, was as ridiculous as a white actor playing a black historical figure.

‘James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was,’ said Limbaugh as he began his diatribe.

‘But now [they are] suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland.’ A farcical statement considering George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig albeit White, were not Scottish.

 

Interestingly it was Kanye West who contributed, what I see as, the strongest argument against Limbaugh – “Artists should be visionaries… A black James Bond would be visionary no doubt. Something that 30 years ago would have seemed crazy should now be something that is a real possibility.”

Kanye is right, Fleming wrote Bond as white – correct. However, he is NOT a historical figure (ignoring Limbaugh’s comparison) but a fictional character which, as with many fictional characters, can be changed however the filmmaker see’s fit whilst keeping with the current time.

Equally as controversial was the decision to make Daniel Craig James Bond. Craig was hardly the archetypal Bond with his blue eyes and blond hair and ‘harder’ exterior. His ‘reformed’ character was created to fit with the times and suited what we would see as the Bond of today as opposed to a Sean Connery type character who, although legendary, may be a little out of date in today’s world. Like Kanye said, fiction is visionary and therefore it is only right that it should adapt with time.

Dnaiel Craig, James Bond PHA

‘Image courtesy of discutivo on Flickr’

It is not just the character of Bond that has changed over time – in recent years the character of M, originally written by Fleming as a man, has been portrayed as a woman played by Judi Dench. Even more recently (introduced in Skyfall) the classic character of Miss Moneypenny was introduced as black actress Naomi Harris who portrayed a beautiful and courageous secret agent – although extremely different to Fleming’s original character more suited to the portrayal of women at this time.

In my personal opinion, it is not the actor’s race or nationality that is important to play the character of Bond, but the following attributes – charisma, good looks, a ‘rough and ready’ demeanour, a penchant for alcohol (and the ladies) and, of course, the ability to wear a suit well! Idris Elba possesses all of these characteristics and therefore, in my humble opinion, PERFECTLY suited to play 007.

5 Lessons PR’s Can Learn from Kim Kardashian

 

Image Courtesy of Shop Pink Cherie, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Shop Pink Cherie, flickr.com

It was not long ago that Kim Kardashian was a humble stylist to the stars. But look at her now; one of the worlds most recognised celebrity faces, wife to a millionaire rapper, star of her own reality TV show, fashion designer, businesswoman, model, actress and an international brand worth millions.

It doesn’t stop there.

The American socialite turned TV star now owns her very own clothing line, perfume range, jewellery collection, weight loss product line and a string of work out DVDs. She has starred in movies, graced hundreds of magazine covers, and taken part in some of the world’s most reputable retail endorsements; all contributing to an estimated net worth of $65 million.

This year the Californian entrepreneur even managed to land on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list at #80, ahead of Oscar-winning actresses such as Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow and Natalie Portman and celebrated authors like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling.

So, what’s the secret to her success?

  1. Engagement

To date, Kim Kardashian has close to 25.4 million Twitter followers, 21.5 million Instagram followers and over 24.3 million Facebook fans. How? She engages.

Kim maintains a strong relationship with her fans through a continual stream of communication. By keeping her followers updated with what is happening in her life, she encourages them to revisit her social media profiles as loyal followers.

Forbes recently reported that a small component of Kim Kardashian’s income comes from social media. Like many celebrities, Kim makes a bundle of cash being paid by businesses and brands to tweet to her many fans and followers.

The greater the level of engagement, the bigger the fan base, the higher the number of endorsement requests, the larger the pay cheque. It couldn’t be simpler.

  1. Transparency

Any fan of Kim Kardashian will be familiar with the hit reality TV series ‘Keeping up with Kardashians’ – an American show starring Kim and the rest of the Kardashian clan which first aired on E! in 2007 and is now watched all over the world.

Image Courtesy of jamesjenkins1974, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of jamesjenkins1974, flickr.com

Part of the programme’s appeal is that the public can identify with the Kardashians and relate to their personal issues, despite their wealth and fame. From Khloe Kardashian’s divorce with NBA basketball player Lamar Odum, to Kim’s long line of failed relationships, and Rob Kardashian’s weight struggle, to the birth of Kourtney Kardashian’s son and daughter; fans of the reality show have enjoyed unlimited access into the Kardashians’ private lives.

The Kardashians are a transparent brand that don’t pretend to be anything other than themselves, working to make as much money as they can. Together they are worth over $80 million – living proof that the public are more likely to trust and engage with a brand who is honest and relatable, than those that are not.

  1. Immediate Action

Kim’s transparency has also helped her in situations where her reputation has been at risk. In times of trouble, she will immediately release a statement for the media and her fans to address a situation before it spins out of her control.

Image Courtesy of Claudia Flores J, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Claudia Flores J, flickr.com

Remember the Turkish Cosmopolitan incident? In 2011 Kim appeared on the front cover of the Turkish edition of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Unfortunately for Kim, the front cover ran the same month as Armenian Remembrance Day, when Armenians remember Turkey’s genocide of the Armenian population during World War I. As Kim is Armenian, this sparked universal outrage.

After the magazine’s launch, Kim immediately shared the following statement with her fans and the media:

“When I did this shoot for the international covers I had no idea that Turkey was planning to run my story on their cover THIS month.

“My Armenian heritage means a lot to me and I’ve been brought up to be incredibly proud of my family’s background and culture so as an Armenian-American woman it is a huge honor for me to be on the first ever Armenian Cosmopolitan cover.”

“I have an amazing relationship with Cosmopolitan Magazine. World-over, Cosmo is known as a fun and inspiring magazine for women of all races, shapes, sizes, regardless of their political beliefs and I really hope that if I can bring awareness to the issue, then this is an accomplishment.”

  1. Brand Management

Whether you love her or hate her, most people will agree that Kim Kardashian markets herself and her brand commendably.

Kim is always ready to face the spotlight and is mindful that every appearance and interview reflects upon her brand. Renowned for her friendliness towards reporters, photographers, and even irritable paparazzi; Kim keeps the media on side, often agreeing to a photograph or a quick comment even when she is not working.

Besides coupling with a long list of highly-paid athletes and rappers, Kim also seeks out successful brands to attach her name to  (Sears, Sketchers, Bebe and Glu Mobile to name but a few!) Partnering with these successful businesses and brands have expanded Kim’s reach and amplified her reputation enormously – not to mention her annual income!

As of May 2014, the Kardashian queen ensured that her name will remain in the headlines for years to come by marrying millionaire rapper Kanye West in a typically lavish Italian ceremony.


  1. ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity’

Our favourite PR catch-phrase couldn’t be truer if we journey back to Kim Kardashian’s rise to stardom. The Californian socialite shot to fame after a scandalous sex tape was released by Vivid Entertainment in 2007, after it was sold to them by her former boyfriend and rapper, Ray J.

While most people would have shied away from such an incident, Kim saw it as a business opportunity and faced the media head-on. Seven years later, and she’s a global megastar.

More recently, the 34-year-old star shocked fans when she chose to model nude for a ‘Break The Internet’ photo spread in the 2014 winter issue of the popular Australian publication, Paper Magazine.

Though scandalous, Kim’s nude images sparked debate on television shows and radio stations all over the globe, motivated millions of tweets and Instagram posts across social media, and generated coverage across newspapers, magazines and online titles worldwide.

5 Lessons PR's Can Learn from Kim Kardashian

 

Image Courtesy of Shop Pink Cherie, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Shop Pink Cherie, flickr.com

It was not long ago that Kim Kardashian was a humble stylist to the stars. But look at her now; one of the worlds most recognised celebrity faces, wife to a millionaire rapper, star of her own reality TV show, fashion designer, businesswoman, model, actress and an international brand worth millions.

It doesn’t stop there.

The American socialite turned TV star now owns her very own clothing line, perfume range, jewellery collection, weight loss product line and a string of work out DVDs. She has starred in movies, graced hundreds of magazine covers, and taken part in some of the world’s most reputable retail endorsements; all contributing to an estimated net worth of $65 million.

This year the Californian entrepreneur even managed to land on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list at #80, ahead of Oscar-winning actresses such as Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow and Natalie Portman, and celebrated authors like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling.

So, what’s the secret to her success?

  1. Engagement

To date, Kim Kardashian has close to 25.4 million twitter followers, 21.5 million Instagram followers and over 24.3 million Facebook fans. How? She engages.

Kim maintains a strong relationship with her fans through a continual stream of communication. By keeping her followers updated with what is happening in her life, she encourages them to revisit her social media profiles as loyal followers.

Forbes recently reported that a small component of Kim Kardashian’s income comes from social media. Like many celebrities, Kim makes a bundle of cash being paid by businesses and brands to tweet to her many fans and followers.

The greater the level of engagement, the bigger the fan base, the higher the number of endorsement requests, the larger the pay cheque. It couldn’t be simpler.

  1. Transparency

Any fan of Kim Kardashian will be familiar with the hit reality TV series ‘Keeping up with Kardashians’ – an American show starring Kim and the rest of the Kardashian clan which first aired on E! in 2007 and is now watched all over the world.

Image Courtesy of jamesjenkins1974, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of jamesjenkins1974, flickr.com

Part of the programme’s appeal is that the public can identify with the Kardashians and relate to their personal issues, despite their wealth and fame. From Khloe Kardashian’s divorce with NBA basketball player Lamar Odum, to Kim’s long line of failed relationships, and Rob Kardashians weight struggle, to the birth of Kourtney Kardashians son and daughter; fans of the reality show have enjoyed unlimited access into the Kardashians’ private lives.

The Kardashians are a transparent brand that don’t pretend to be anything other than themselves, working to make as much money as they can. Together they are worth over $80 million – living proof that the public are more likely to trust and engage with a brand who is honest and relatable, than those that are not.

  1. Immediate Action

Kim’s transparency has also helped her in situations where her reputation has been at risk. In times of trouble, she will immediately release a statement for the media and her fans to address a situation before it spins out of her control.

Image Courtesy of Claudia Flores J, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Claudia Flores J, flickr.com

Remember the Turkish Cosmopolitan incident? In 2011 Kim appeared on the front cover of the Turkish edition of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Unfortunately for Kim, the front cover ran the same month as Armenian Remembrance Day, when Armenians remember Turkey’s genocide of the Armenian population during World War I. As Kim is Armenian, this sparked universal outrage.

After the magazines launch, Kim immediately shared the following statement with her fans and the media:

“When I did this shoot for the international covers I had no idea that Turkey was planning to run my story on their cover THIS month.

“My Armenian heritage means a lot to me and I’ve been brought up to be incredibly proud of my family’s background and culture so as an Armenian-American woman it is a huge honor for me to be on the first ever Armenian Cosmopolitan cover.”

“I have an amazing relationship with Cosmopolitan Magazine. World-over, Cosmo is known as a fun and inspiring magazine for women of all races, shapes, sizes, regardless of their political beliefs and I really hope that if I can bring awareness to the issue, then this in an accomplishment.”

  1. Brand Management

Whether you love her or hate her, most people will agree that Kim Kardashian markets herself and her brand commendably.

Kim is always ready to face the spotlight and is mindful that every appearance and interview reflects upon her brand. Renowned for her friendliness towards reporters, photographers, and even irritable paparazzi; Kim keeps the media on side, often agreeing to a photograph or a quick comment even when she is not working.

Besides coupling with a long list of highly-paid athletes and rappers, Kim also seeks out successful brands to attach her name to  (Sears, Sketchers, Bebe and Glu Mobile to name but a few!) Partnering with these successful businesses and brands has expanded Kim’s reach and amplified her reputation enormously – not to mention her annual income!

As of May 2014, the Kardashian queen ensured that her name will remain in the headlines for years to come by marrying millionaire rapper Kanye West in a typically lavish Italian ceremony.


  1. ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity’

Our favourite PR catch-phrase couldn’t be truer if we journey back to Kim Kardashian’s rise to stardom. The Californian socialite shot to fame after a scandalous sex tape was released by Vivid Entertainment in 2007, after it was sold to them by her former boyfriend and rapper, Ray J.

While most people would have shied away from such an incident, Kim saw it as a business opportunity and faced the media head on. Seven years later, and she’s a global megastar.

More recently, the 34-year-old star shocked fans when she chose to model nude for a ‘Break The Internet’ photo spread in the 2014 winter issue of the popular Australian publication, Paper Magazine.

Though scandalous, Kim’s nude images sparked debate on television shows and radio stations all over the globe, motivated millions of tweets and Instagram posts across social media, and generated coverage across newspapers, magazines and online titles worldwide.

The Kimye Wedding: A Media Extravaganza

 

Image Courtesy of Fresh Fragrances, flickr. com

Image Courtesy of Fresh Fragrances, flickr. com

After long-awaited speculation and anticipation, the Kimye wedding has taken place and Kim Kardashian has finally become Mrs West, although the media frenzy surrounding the couple’s wedding is far from over. The location of the wedding, who designed the dress and if the likes of Jay Z and Beyoncé were to be attending the ceremony were just a few of the various topics being discussed globally throughout social media. With so much media attention surrounding what has been referred to as the ‘wedding of the century’, it has become more than just an exchange of vows between a couple. It has become a media extravaganza, with the family and friends themselves documenting every part of the lead up to the wedding on social media sites such as Instagram, inviting us in to have a taste of their lavish lifestyle.

In terms of PR, designers, restaurants and hotel owners are given vital opportunities to maximise their publicity and recognition, with the Kardashian clan’s every step being observed and published. The pre-wedding rendezvous was just as well publicised as the day itself, from a brunch held at Valentino Garavani’s Paris mansion, to a luxurious rehearsal dinner at the Palace of Versailles. Guests were then flown from Paris to the location of the wedding which took place at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence, Italy. With all of this being broadcast over social media, such locations are given the opportunity of boosting their credibility, as well as encouraging more tourism to these romantic European cities.

However, it is the fashion and glamour that never goes unnoticed, with the Kardashians wearing pieces by Valentino, Azzedine Alaia, Martin Margila, Givenchy and Balmain throughout the week leading up to the wedding, giving these designers even more of a global platform to showcase their designs. Of course, after much anticipation as to which high-end designer the reality star would wear on the big day, Kim did not fail to live up to expectations, opting for a custom-made Givenchy Haute Couture dress created by Riccardo Tisci. As well as the dress receiving great levels of media attention, the exchanging of the couple’s Lorraine Schwartz wedding bands have certainly not been ignored.

Despite the wedding having been and gone, this has not reduced the level of talk surrounding the couple’s celebrations, with attention moving forward to their chosen honeymoon destination of Ireland, staying at a luxury private estate in Munster. It is likely that Ireland will see an increase in tourism, particularly in the next few months, as a result of the media’s exposure of it as a romantic destination good enough for the power couple themselves.

So the Kimye wedding we have all been waiting for is finally over, but this doesn’t mean the frenzy is over too. The media will no doubt now be speculating and waiting for baby number 2 and the pregnancy fashion that is sure to follow…we can’t wait!