Why Sally Bercow's striptease PR debacle doesn't have legs (from news perspective)
Speaker's wife Sally Bercow is the talk of Twitter after stripping off for a newspaper article. Paul Smith, content director at Citypress PR, takes a look at the 'storm in a bedsheet'...
I do love a narcissist.
Not as much as they love themselves, obviously, but it’s an amusing trait (flaw) in the digital age.
Today’s exponent is Sally Bercow – wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons and new social media #fail of the week.
Or is she?
Quick recap: Sally Bercow is attractive, educated and has a reputation for being outspoken. Married to a high profile politician, she is taller than her husband – a source of constant amusement to the tabloids – and has admitted (gasp) to one night stands in her past.
She has already hit the headlines on several occasions so surely must be savvy enough when the Evening Standard’s ES magazine asks her to pose in a sheet in some kind of Westminster/Wuthering Heights mash up picture by an open window overlooking the Thames to say ‘Hmmm’.
But she didn’t. Having stripped off and posed she has now taken to Twitter to claim she has been ‘stitched up’ – did your clothes fall off? - while simultaneously responding to various compliments and sending out ‘Why didn’t I listen to you?’ messages to political bloggers such as Iain Dale.
Is this a major political sex scandal? Hardly. It doesn’t have the legs (sorry) of a genuine Christine Keeler-esque between the sheets blockbuster. Only certain journalists and Sally Bercow herself really want to fuel it further.
But the manner in which Mrs Bercow is prepared to be open about sex is indicative of the new breed of politicians – and partners – who are going to have to consider their social media footprint when they suddenly find themselves in the public eye.
Sally doesn’t seem to mind, however embarrassing this may prove to her husband, discussing their sex life. Is this such a big deal?
Take a look back over the years; consenting sex between two people, married TO EACH OTHER is not the bonkbuster editorial currency that has paid for Max Clifford’s house.
But the open, and somewhat permanent nature of platforms like Twitter mean that such tales they will become more prevalent as today’s teens – prone to sharing every thought, emotion or risqué pictue online - grow into tomorrow’s celebs and politicians.
Sally Bercow is 41 – on the cusp of the old and new media generations in that she hasn’t grown up with Facebook in her teens, but is clearly comfortable using it.
In true narcissistic style she is fuelling the story via Twitter. Popping up on BBC 5Live to give her side of the non-story and even inventing her own hashtag - #storminabedsheet – see, it doesn’t even warrant a ‘gate’.
Max Clifford wouldn’t get out of bed for that.