Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are shock jocks a necessary evil of book promotion campaigns?

Is taking abuse from shock jocks a necessary evil of book promotion campaigns?

We know that Don Imus sells a lot of books. Does that mean that book publicists have to try to get their clients on his radio show?

This book publicist doesn't think so. Unless an author has a burning desire to appear on one of the shock jocks' radio shows, sorry, but I don't pitch the story to those folks. I won't subject my clients to abuse from Stern, Imus, Limbaugh, or any of the other people who make their living by conducting abrasive, bombastic, hurtful interviews.

Somehow, I thought the BBC had transcended the problem. Alas, here's a story that proves the problem of on-air jerks and their antics has traveled to the other side of the Atlantic.

Apparently, Russell Brand -- a BBC shock jock -- resigned after more than 18,000 listeners complained to the BBC about his harrassment of a 78-year-old actor by the name of Andrew Sachs. Brand and a "fellow performer" were both suspended by the BBC for the "prank." I only regret the fact that Brand left his job before the BBC could terminate him.

Sure ... British authors have just lost a book promotion opportunity. But I think that's a small price to pay for ridding the airwaves of a classless act. Now, if only Brand's U.S. counterparts who leave our airwaves ... you know who I mean ... would stay off our airwaves permanently. Alas ....

I hope British radio consumers have better luck with keeping Brand off their radios.