Anorak News | Online PR: Robert Murat Drops Max Clifford

Online PR: Robert Murat Drops Max Clifford

by | 19th, July 2008

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

NO word from Robert Murat in today’s tabloids. Having been awarded a load of money for being libelled, what odds the tabloids are battling to see which of them can get his interview? But with whom do they negotiate?

Back in May 2007, the Express’s front page asked: “Madeleine: Will the suspect cash in by selling his story?”

In “Maddy suspect’s PR deal” the paper says “oddball” Robert Murat was said to have contacted Max Clifford, the ubiquitous PR guru without whom no fag/shag/slag/hag/gag/lag/nag/wag ‘n’ tell story is complete.

Clifford was quoted as saying:

“When I spoke to Robert, he was in tears and said: ‘I’m innocent and I will prove I am innocent’, and thanked me for listening to him. I told him that provided he is cleared I will be happy to talk to him.”

Murat has not been cleared – he remains an arguido. That may hinder his selling his story. But there’s another problem that might prevent Murat getting his words into OK!. Max Clifford is the subject of a feature in PRWeek:

Clifford said he was disappointed in Murat using his lawyers’ PR agency (The PR Office), when he had previously advised the Briton for free. The PR Office said Murat had ‘changed strategy’…

Says Clifford:

‘Last summer, when his arguido status was put in place by the Portuguese authorities, it signalled the start of a character assassination of Robert Murat by sections of the Portuguese and British media. I was approached by Robert’s family who claimed that Robert and they were having their lives destroyed by this coverage and desperately sought my help.

I totally sympathised with them and agreed to help them just as I have helped many others when facing the worst excesses of the British media. They made it clear that neither Robert nor themselves could afford to pay me and that it was impossible for Robert to work. Nevertheless, I agreed to do whatever I could to help their plight whilst explaining that because of Robert’s arguido status I was unable to officially represent him.

Together with Nicola Phillips from my office, I spent a huge amount of time and effort over many months talking to Robert and his Aunt Sally, often late at night and doing everything possible to help them and stop the unjustifiable media onslaught.

Sop throwing stones at Murat, and, er, his Aunt Sally.

So you can imagine this week how I felt when Robert admitted to me he was paying a PR firm that he had been introduced to by his legal team. Having worked free of charge and in the words of Robert and his Aunt Sally, “been both wonderfully supportive and successful”, I was not happy.

Hard to imagine. But, still, you did help him out, as you have “helped many others when facing the worst excesses of the British media”. It’s nothing short of heroic.

In spite of this I am very pleased with what we at MCA did for Robert and his family, as many of the things written about him without so much as a shred of evidence were totally disgusting.

Indeed. Thanks for pointing it out in a letter to a trade publication.

Robert continues to have a huge battle on his hands to clear his name and to get his life back on track and I wish him and his family every success in achieving this.

For now, I’ll concentrate my time on my many appreciative paying clients and my continued battle with prostate cancer.’

Show me the money. Sympathy? No. Just business…

Story spotter: Carmen

Picture: Marc Moninski

Posted: 19th, July 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Online-PR Comments (18) | TrackBack | Permalink