How much bad press would you be prepared to put up with in return for £110 million? The consensus in this office: As much as you like. Maul me on the front page of the Daily Mail every day for the rest of my life. See if I care.
That’s the predicament facing Persimmon boss Jeff Fairburn, who has just landed a windfall that, erm, not everyone, erm, is entirely sure he deserves.
M’learned colleague Russell Lynch did an excellent job of quizzing Mr Fairburn today in an interview that did for mercy what lions did for Christians.
“Are you worth it?” he asked at one point. Fairburn stumbled, then demurred, not seeming to get that the questions would continue until he, or a flak, said “stop”.
The only PR way out of this is for him to give large chunks of this money back.
Even charity donations don’t really count, because with that amount of dosh he’d surely give a little money to sick children anyway.
So, a conundrum. I’d keep the money. Fairburn might be more decent/fragile.
Coming soon: PR Guffery of The Day. A new, occasional column, featuring the daftest, most meaningless phrase used in flak land/press releases that day. We invite entries.