Our most recent blog asked whether ABC publicity have deliberately courted controversy in order to promote their comedy programs. We have since been contacted by an insider who had a few things to say about this.
Amongst other things, our insider said they would be “flabbergasted” if the ABC tried to court controversy about anything. “They want everyone to like them. Really badly” they said, adding that ABC publicists tended to be “conservative” and to “dive under their desks” whenever anyone lays into them.
“You’re right about them [the ABC] being obsessed about ratings. They absolutely are”, our source continued, but, they concluded, “while your theory makes a lot of sense on a logical level, it seems extremely unlikely to me”.
Perhaps our source has a point? ABC publicity weren’t exactly noted for their bravery following The Chaser’s “Make A Realistic Wish Foundation” sketch, for instance, so why assume they’re ringing up Colin Vickery or Andrew Bolt and dropping wild hints about upcoming controversies they might wish to be OUTRAGED by?
That said, it’s not like television shows just make themselves and plenty of people know their contents outside of the publicity department. There could well be a “rogue agent” or two in the ABC, feeding News Limited tit-bits of information, Crikey certainly seems to think so. Even if it’s true, it seems unlikely it’s their publicists. After all, wouldn’t that just be making more work for themselves – and unpleasant work at that?