James Mathison: A Simple PR Stunt

by on 1 June, 2016

By Henry Innis, partner at B.B.E Consulting

There’s an old saying in advertising: frequency is the key to success. Celebrities in particular have this problem. They need to constantly be front and centre of the media, or they lose relevance quickly.


The challenge is celebrity is often tied to “doing” something. Films are generally good because there’s a new one every few months, and a new wave of exposure comes. Modelling is good because there’s always a new collection. In short, top-tier celebrities often get there because they’ve got high frequency in the media. Simple as that.


It’s why Adam Sandler is an A-List celebrity, despite not being the best actor.


Here’s the thing about TV hosts – they lose relevance after their TV show ends. And because their personality is so tied to hosting the show, there isn’t a natural “next step” for them. They aren’t actors. Not clear entertainers. They’re the remora fish of the entertainment world.


That’s why it wasn’t a shock or surprise to see one James Mathison running for the seat of Warringah.


If James was serious about running, he would have had some commitment to the local community. He would have contributed to causes and built up a local profile. Instead, he’s going around challenging Tony Abbott on a whim.


Anyone who has spent time in the electorate would know that they all have quite conservative views. Warringah believes in the Tony Abbott approach (though the rest of the country may or may not). They don’t support things like marriage equality and the Safe Schools program. Like it or not, Tony Abbott has been a highly effective local and representative voice for many years.


The challenge with Mathison is if he truly wanted to make a difference, he would have run for Senate. Or planned out his actions a little more. But it’s clear that he’s got no interest in doing that, because he has no intention of running. Challenging Tony Abbott is a way to build his media profile and his frequency in the media.


It’s a challenge to his waning relevance. So if you’re looking for a reason to vote James Mathison, ask yourself – why would you help a D-List celebrity stay relevant?

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