Yet another celebrity, this time one of the most successful on the UK music scene Robbie Williams, has scuttled off to rehab to address prescription drug, smoking and drinking addictions. Estimated to be worth around £100 million ($200 million), apparently the singer’s success, or in the case of the US market, leads to periods of deep depression. Apparently, the medical addressing of this depression has led to his drug addiction.
In my view, all this running off to spend £2,000 a night in a high profile clinic does not do a lot of good. This is obvious by the fact that, to stars such as Robbie, even the clinic visits become an addiction. This is not the first time he has checked into such a place. It is true that, for a while, they might be able to reduce the addictive habits, but historical statistics on celebrities proves that it does not last. Why is this, people may ask? The reason for this failure is that the therapists do not address the root cause of the problem.
The crux of the problem in Robbie Williams case can be found in ego, greed, arrogance and fear. He originally started out as a member of a highly successful boy band called “take that,” However, his ego did not like the fact that he was not being noticed in his own right, so he left to follow a solo career. To be fair to the man, this was a successful step and he soon became the UK’s number one performer. But his ego did not allow him to just accept the applause. In an effort to ensure that his foundation in the band was not a part of his new-found fame, he embarked upon a series of attacks on other band members. The difference in character is shown by the fact that the rest of the band did not retaliate. They just bided their time.
Last year Take That reformed after a gap of over ten years. The result of this was that they became an overnight sensation. Their first new album has outsold Robbie Williams latest one by three to one as fans return to the original concept. This shows that Williams was right to fear the band that kick-started his career. However, there is more than enough room for both. It is also strange that the latest visit to the clinic follows the exceptional success that the reformed “Take That” band are enjoying. It is almost as if Williams, in a desperate bid to prove he is more popular than them, is attempting to steal the limelight away.
With regard to arrogance, Robbie Williams has this in abundance. In the UK, to keep himself in the headlines he has, as well as the above mentioned attacks on “Take That” launched scathing attacks on others who were involved in the early stages of building his career, including ex-managers and girlfriends. This has gained him few friends outside of his fan base.
His arrogance was also in evidence in his approach to the US market. Unlike other UK music celebrities, like Tom Jones, who allowed their work to filter into the US market in a gentle manner, therefore creating an environment where the US public embraced their talents, Robbie Williams decided that this was not sufficient for him. He had to storm the US, standing up and saying that he was better than what you had. If you want to offend anyone, this was a classic way to do it. Where other music legends such as The Who have treated the US consumer with respect and gained a fan base, Williams has not. Because of this attitude he has found little success in America, despite moving there.
Rehab will not solve Robbie Williams problems unless those who are counselling him start to address these deep-rooted personality problems that he has.
PROBLEMS OF A HUMAN BRAND
Robbie Williams record company EMI, who paid £80 million ($160 million) to sign for them, are also suffering as a result of the stars actions. The expected revenue that they hoped to receive as a result of this contract is not materialising. This shows that the corporation’s management team were seriously lacking in strategy when they entered into the contract.
The biggest problem with signing a “human” brand is the organisations ability to a) monitor and control its performance; b) accurately access the value; c) evaluate the stability of the brand; and d) link the contract to performance. In all of these areas EMI management failed. In terms of a) the monitoring of performance has been proven to be lacking, and there certainly been a lack of control. With b) the value was identifable then and now as excessive, particularly bearing in mind that this was a person they were dealing with. Similarly, the evaluation of the Robbie Williams stability factor (c) was in error, bearing in mind his previous addiction problems, and in respect of d) the performance linked element was omitted. Is it any wonder that the company is now struggling?
The final nail in the Robbie Williams saga of course, is his belief in his own publicity. The media, as we know, will dramatise anything a celebrity does and, in the case of Robbie Williams, his visits on the front pages of the media was frequent. However, he also needs to recognise that the media are just as adept at destroying reputations if it helps them sell papers.
The man needs to take a step back, value his own life, cease worrying about being better, more successful and wealthier than others, and begin to enjoy being Robbie Williams.