Last week PR Week released its latest UK Power Book, its list of the most influential players in the UK industry as voted for by peers in comms and media. As usual, there aren’t too many surprises at the top of the list – Parker, Freud, Clifford – and things only get interesting when the real personality is encouraged to shine through the spin. For me, the greatest encouragement seemed to come from being asked to name the “Song you would sing at a X Factor audition”.
For many this was clearly a cue to run for the exits, as by far the most popular response was a non-response of the can’t-sing-wouldn’t-catch-me-dead variety (especial props to Beatwax‘s Michael Brown for his rant here). There were some slightly-too-cool-for-school offerings – take a bow XIX Entertainment‘s Julian Henry for Post-Breakup Sex by The Vaccines, w/ bonus points for answering Arcade Fire tickets to “Ideal Birthday Present” and identifying CSN&Y as desirable dinner-party guests.
And then there was the downright scary. How many potential DDA clients will think twice on learning of Lawrence Atkinson’s love of Nazareth, 1971-’80? Though to be fair, it is the only period.
But when it comes to the top of the pops – the Power Book’s most played – it’s hit after hit after hit:
Okay, so I’m sure all those who went for Cage’s 4’33” thought they’d be the only one to make the gag (even after 2010’s anti-X Factor campaign), Ol’ Blue Eyes’ popularity might be more correctly attributed to his most enduring hit, and I’ve been rather generous in assuming Mack the Knife would be Armstrong’s take for everyone who cited the Weill/Brecht classic.
But overall, I think the Power Book’s top X Factor selections – The Beatles and The Stones, The Smiths and “The John”, Python – say good things about the Power Book’s constituents, being for the most part tasteful, poptastic, and quintessentially British.