Danny Rogers on PR: Beige leaves all the colour for Borkowski

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The Independent Online

Mark Borkowski is a brilliant self-publicist.

You may have seen him on television, commentating on media stories, or read one of his books on stunts.

This is a man who sports velvet jackets and bow ties, whose online biography modestly runs to about 2,000 words. He's a brilliant publicist too. He has run Borkowski PR for 24 years, with clients including the late Michael Jackson, Cliff Richard, Cadbury and Virgin Media.

This week, after slamming the PR industry for "blanding out" and "telling clients what they want to hear", Borkowksi announced he was storming off home – and taking his ball with him.

From next month he is removing himself, and his surname, from the 32-strong Borkowski PR team, to set up a "new type of consultancy". The man who made his name publicising the punk circus Archaos in the late 1980s, wants to return to his maverick, creative roots.

"I am the proud inheritor of the Barnum tradition of publicity," claimed Borkowski, who says two clients have already signed up.

How ironic then that the agency he left behind immediately became the talking point, rather than Borkowski himself. The remaining MD, Larry Franks, no shrinking violet, announced the agency would be rebranding as "Beige".

Cue abject ridicule in media circles. Some even thought the dull name was "a brilliant PR stunt". I came to the conclusion that it must be a clever piece of counter-intuitive marketing in an over-supplied PR consultancy sector.

Sadly not. Franks insists: "We just wanted a blank canvas. Beige is all about the people that work there."

Beige will try to make its PR do the talking. And Mark Borkowski's new, eponymous venture will be adding its own unique colour.

Danny Rogers is the editor of 'PR Week'