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3Dec/110

Like him or not, Clarkson is a marketing genius

Jeremy Clarkson is in the news again and, as usual, it's about something he said. This time he's upset a few union leaders by suggesting that those who went on strike should be shot in front of their families.

However, the funniest thing is that many folks, most notably the unions, have taken such offence that they've said that they're going to see whether legal action can be taken against Clarkson and/or the BBC.

But what they fail to realise is that they've been had, well and truly.

You see, Clarkson has a new book to promote. And what better way to get loads of free publicity than to say something controversial on national television?

To many people Clarkson is a bigoted, big mouthed, opinionated arse but he plays the game of show business better than many people appreciate. He is, after all, a television entertainer.

And that's what makes this latest episode even more comical: Clarkson just wants publicity for his new book and the unions have handed it to him on a plate. In fact, I personally think that those who have taken offence need to have a real hard think about whether they take things a little too seriously, because it's obvious that they don't understand Clarkson.

A few years ago, when Jeremy Clarkson had launched a new book, he suggested that lorry drivers routinely murder prostitutes, a reference to the Yorkshire Ripper who actually was a lorry driver who murdered prostitutes. But the resulting public outcry, most notably from groups purporting to represent lorry drivers, ended up with greater sales of Clarkson's book.

Clarkson ended up making a half-hearted apology on television but did he really care? Of course he did, all the way to the bank.

But there is a few points (and probably useful lessons) to this situation:

1 โ€“ Clarkson is a showman and wants free publicity for his book, which has happened even more than he could have afforded if he'd tried to buy it.
2 โ€“ Very people are genuinely offended by what he said. The phrase 'someone might be offended' rarely produces more than handful of people who actually are offended.
3 โ€“ The unions take Clarkson far too seriously and have fallen for this ruse; hook, line and sinker.

So, once again, Clarkson props up his book sales with the help of those who could probably do with a little work in the 'sense of humour' department.

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