Maximum Impact 24.03.06

I’VE GIVEN given many interviews in the last couple of days about the earning potential of the Rooneys. My view is simple. If Wayne Rooney continues to produce his magic on the pitch then he will out-shine and out-gross even Brand Beckham. True, he doesn’t have the looks of Becks, but his football talent is far greater, bordering on true genius. To make the Rooney brand commercially even more appealing, Colleen has succeeded in shedding several pounds as well as spending many!

If Rooney has the kind of World Cup that his natural talent could achieve, then he could generate the same kind of adoration that hasn’t been seen since Stanley Matthews and Georgie Best. Wayne may be no beauty — more Desperate Dan than Daniel Craig — but it’s his skills at the beautiful game that count. Brand Beckham has had an amazing run, but Brand Rooney is all set to take over as the main attraction.

Whoever is doing the PR for Rooney and Prince William should get together and work behind the scenes to build a natural friendship between these two superstars of British life. Working together would be hugely beneficial, not just for them individually, but potentially would be of huge benefit and create massive PR opportunities for both the monarchy and for English football. It might seem an unnatural alliance, but believe me it could potentially prove to be the Dream Team.

THE SECRET donations-for-honours scandal that has dominated the media over the last week is the latest PR nightmare to engulf Tony Blair’s government. By revealing the names of those who gave the secret loans and were up for honours, he has certainly faced this storm head on.

What I find interesting is the obvious fact that David Cameron would have loved to have turned this Labour PR disaster into a crisis with the potential to bring about the resignation of the Prime Minister. But how could he possibly? To do this, Dave would have to be able and willing to be equally transparent with the Conservatives’ record in this area — something that I can’t ever imagine happening.

My guess is that the percentage of secret Tory donors, who went on subsequently to receive honours, would be at least as high — if not higher — than those funding the Labour Party. The frustrating problem that Dave has to face up to is that, when Tory sleaze was so damaging to them, the Labour Party was perceived, rightly or wrongly, as being squeaky clean.

Now, no matter how loudly and often the Daily Mail-led Conservative media attacks Tony Blair on sleaze related issues, it inevitably fails to have the same impact and achieve the same damage as when John Major was in power. Such was the huge damage of Tory sleaze — which I’m proud to say I played a part in revealing — that people aren’t shocked by any of the so-called sleaze of 2006, even if perhaps they should be.

The fee for this column is donated to the CHASE (Christopher’s) Children’s Hospice

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