I'm about halfway through reading Slick, the funny debut novel by Daniel Price about a deviously creative Los Angeles crisis PR guy — "a shameless man living in shameless times" — and I'm really enjoying it. I wouldn't ordinary say so, even if he is an advertiser (see right). But yesterday a group called the Independent Publicists of Los Angeles decided to fight back at the industry's image portrayed in the novel.
"We definitely get a bad rap," says Ken Burbano, a contract publicist with 12 years of experience in the entertainment industry....
"The only way to fight fiction is with truth," says Burbano. "Any real publicist can tell you that."
Of course, the book — in it, protagonist Scott Singer perpetrates one of the great flakkery hoaxes — makes me skeptical of Burbano (his only two Google hits are about this). He's sure helping sell copies. Anyway, maybe now's the time to mention that Price has a website, Abusedbythe News.com, that is all about media manipulation.
* Oh I forgot: One of the jacket blurbs for Slick is by LAT film critic Carina Chocano..."it's Bonfire of the Vanities for the twenty-four-hour-news era. Not to mention slick as hell."
** Who fell for it?: From the source page behind the IPOLA website:
IPOLA doesn't exist. Nor does Ken Burbano. This website is part of a shameless publicity stunt by SLICK author Daniel Price. Will journalists see through the deception? For their sake let's hope so. In a perfect world, they would be given more time to investigate their sources (or at least their source's source code).
So far I've found the fake group's press release distributed on PR Newswire, Yahoo News and EMediaWire, and cited by The Elegant Variation.