A few thoughts on financial PR people, moral compass and how they view me

Tom Winnifrith Friday 30 August 2013


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I am not sure that those singled out for praise will appreciate it coming from me. Neither will those who receive rightful opprobrium in what follows – my mind this afternoon turns to the world of financial PR. The dark side.

In the wake of our triumph with Sefton a few PR folks who would prior to today have not reached out to us because we are not proper journalists (i.e. folks who write stuff no-one reads on newspapers) have suddenly been in touch. Would Dan or I care to meet their clients they wonder? Shucks, they have woken up to the world of the blogosphere.

They have spotted Jimmyliar’s head on my mantelpiece and realise that what private investors actually read and act on is not necessarily the City pages of the Daily Telegraph. Welcome to the 21st Century folks. Naturally I am always happy to meet any CEO, I just cannot promise that I will be a fan.

The Sefton debacle, for me, exposed a divide in the attitude of PR folks. Some were switched on enough to spot that Jim Ellerton was a prize rotter and either openly or covertly expressed their support for Dan and myself. They can see that while it is easy to bank retainers acting for crooked AIM stocks it is actually immoral and wrong ‘uns need to be exposed. 

On the side of the Angels, I place Gary Middleton, Jim Mellon’s PR man, Guy McDougal, Ed Portman, Hugo de Salis and all his colleagues at St Brides, Carrie Lun, David Bick, Damian McCrystal, Nick Rome and especially Katie Tzouliadis of Biddicks. Katie is of course a Greek bird so can do no wrong in my eyes. I should also add to that list the former PR man known as Killer Frogs. I am sure that all of the above have acted for poor companies at one stage or another but all realise that there has to be a line drawn in the sand at some level of villainy.

On the other hand one or two individuals, notably the prize shit who runs Yellow Jersey PR and a number of folks at College Group PR openly took the view that any company on AIM must be kosher and those who attack the establishment, the firms swimming in the AIM Cesspit must be in the wrong. They openly stated that my methods were unacceptable. Such folks cannot see beyond a system of comfortable living and cushy retainers. And they do not seem to twig why folks (their clients want to reach out to) read my stuff and that of Dan - it is because we are unusual and do not simpy follow the line that all articles must be positive puffery.

The Yellow Jersey prize shit told me that Sefton showed why no company should speak to me. Au contraire, only bad companies should avoid speaking to me, but they cannot then complain about what I write if they decline the opportunity to comment. The prize shit just assumed, without doing any fact check, that if an AIM company was suing a poor writer for libel the company MUST be in the right and the writer in the wrong.

Sefton has shown that AIM Regulation is a pathetic joke and that there is a crying need for aggressive investigative journalism. With the odds so heavily stacked against folks like Dan and myself and in favour of bent AIM stocks we are forced to adopt a novel approach.  To those who are not on the side of the Angels, I ask you to examine your conscience. Do you still think that Dan and I were shown to be bad guys by what happened with Sefton?

And to the Angels, I hope you don’t mind being praised by me. Thank you.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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