Monday, January 4, 2010

finally Britain's TIMESONLINE catches up to the Shuttle

     Twice in early December we reported on the collapse of the dreaded paparazzi who until the death of Princess Diana were making a decent living. But when that car crash happened, something else strange occured.
     A whole new breed of semi-professionals were unleashed-the majority being obnoxious kids with a new digital camera who thought they were out to make a fortune and adopted an attitude of such arrogance they simply became a complete pain in the butt.
        Even worse, a new breed of so-called "publicists" began to take them seriously and put them at the top of every guest list.
      It peaked for us in Sydney about 6 years ago when a buffoon of a PR 'consultant ' refused tSS and guest, entry to a store promotion he was grandly managing (with the usual suspect guest list that make up the 'd-list') , whilst inside at least 10 shabby "paps"  grinned away almost triumphantly.
      And thus Count Paolo Zegna, (pictured left) Chairman of the legendary Zegna Group in Milan and tSS trudged off for supper at Aria Restaurant at Circular Quay.
        tSS has worked for the elegant Count Zegna for many years when he travels to Australia to present awards for the finest of the world's wool.    We made hurried excuses that it was the wrong function but it was difficult not to notice the boutique we were about to enter, was a franchise of one the world's major Italian designers-a close friend of Zegna's.

The party was a PR disaster. The only person worth photographing had been booted.  No publicity ensured.
 tSS hexs are very strong. Be warned.

We finally threw in the towel when the late actor Heath Ledger was squirted with water pistols by a bunch of gung-ho paps at a film premiere which literally drove him to sell his Sydney beach-side house and flee to the US. "You need us" they yelled. Not any longer.

Giles Hattersley writing in the Times says it all better here..
 an exert :

Paparazzi: A flash in the pan

The paparazzi used to earn big bucks from snapping celebrities, but their moment in the limelight is over

Dan Weir, a 20-year-old paparazzo from south London, heads into the West End most days at 6pm. This is the unofficial handover hour, when the daytime snappers stop bothering the Wags on Bond Street so the night shift can start bothering them outside Mahiki.

As ever, the same worries race through Weir’s mind. Is Kate in town? Will Cheryl be out? Will she wear a scandalously teensy ensemble guaranteed to boost his bank balance? “It isn’t glamorous like it sounds, though,” he says. “It’s a job, and it’s getting harder.”

He’s right. Stifle your sobs, people, but thanks to dwindling reader interest and a ferociously litigious gaggle of pap-suing harpies (never say the words “Sienna” and “Miller” to a photo hack: they’ll rip your ears off), the pack is in trouble.

After a decade of steady pay for any old snap of celebrity detritus, in the past 18 months the spoils have shrunk. Dramatically.

“It’s got tough,” says Ken Goff, who runs GoffPhotos, a top agency that supplies candid sleb shots and red-carpet fare to the tabs.
“A year ago, you could get a picture in one of our main daily papers — The Sun, Mirror, Star or Mail — and it would be worth £500. Now, with one of those papers, you’re lucky to get £170.” One picture editor tells me that rates can fall as low as £40 for a half-decent shot. That’s if he deigns to publish it at all.


### Count Zegna has announced that his Wool Awards in Australia -suspended in 2009 over the great muesling of sheep scandal, will resume this year for Zegna's centenary celebration.