I promise you this will be my last post on the Jade Goody saga. However, over the last day or so I have been given cause to wonder whether this whole episode has been manipulated. Let us take a step back from all the media hysteria and look at it from a business viewpoint for a moment, and see how the participants might have gained from it.
ENDEMOL – PRODUCTION COMPANY
It is rumoured that the company, an organisation that specialises in TV reality and games shows, may be seeking a new owner. Prior to the incident that led to all of the media hype, the ratings for the show were not that brilliant. Viewer ratings were languishing at the high 2 million plus mark. Subsequent to the incident these ratings rose to nearly 6 million. So you have a show which is considered to be one of the most high profile in your portfolio, but ratings have been slipping over the past few series. What do you do? Add some controversy! Not only does that more than double your ratings but, by fortune or design (As Gordon Brown is visiting the nation of the victim at the time), puts it squarely into the political as well as the public arena. Suddenly, the show becomes a world-wide phenomena, carried on every conceivable media there is. How much does that add to your corporations sales value?
Okay, they lost a £3 million sponsorship contract, but with an extra 2 million plus people attracted and a significant proportion of those voting, thus bringing addition income from mobile and landline calls, they probably made double that in the course of the last week in terms of phone call revenue.
CHANNEL 4 – THE BROADCASTING MEDIA
With the globalisation of TV media, Channel 4, a terrestrial based media company, is paying catch-up with the four main competitors, which are BBC1, ITV and Channel Five. How does it steal a march on them in the ratings, and thus advertising war? Introduce controversy. The result is that viewers switch channels to find out what all the fuss is about? What does that say to advertisers? This is the place they want to be promoting their products.
Jane Goody – before coming into the show Jane Goody was worth in excess of £8 million. Some of her products have been withdrawn from retail shelves as a result of her actions, and other fees have been forfeited. But has she really lost? Firstly, she has been quick to apologise without making any attempt to defend her actions, which will help to restore some of her credibility. Secondly, the Indian government have invited her to experience the Indian culture first hand and, thirdly, her fame has been spread far and wide across the globe. Whether you love them or hate them, celebrities make news and, as a result, attract income from it.
SHILPA SHETTY – THE VICTIM
I don’t condone what happened to Shilpa, far from it. However, prior to this incident Shilpa was relatively unknown outside of the Bollywood environment. As a result of this incident, she has achieved an extended international fame. If those who work for her are clever enough, they could capitalise on this situation.
DANIELLE LLOYD – ONE OF THE GANG
Out of all those concerned, Danielle is the one who is likely to suffer the most. Having lost three contracts and her boyfriend, it will take some work for her to recover from this situation, although it is not impossible.
All of this makes one pose the question, was this a hoped for result when the producers picked the celebrities? It makes you wonder.