Friday 31 January 2014

The Weekly Wrap Up: Trierweiler's Media Courtship

This week French President Francoise Hollande publicly announced his separation from his long-term partner, Valerie Trierweiler, following allegations of an affair with French actress Julie Gayet.

Although no longer First-Lady of France, it has been a busy week for Trierweiler; alongside a series of interviews with France’s leading magazines, including Le Parisien and Paris Match, she has also discussed the possibility of her writing a book on her experience.

Image courtesy of Koudy-VW
For those who remember the media coverage surrounding the split of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, this story stings ever so slightly of a historical repetition. As Trierweiler did this week, Diana rather famously opened up to the British media and Andrew Morton about her relationship with the Prince, and her experience as being “Princess Diana”. This media exposure was met with a degree of scepticism by the British community, ever a conservative bunch, who perhaps felt that privacy would have been a more respectable path of progression than the path of publicity that she chose to take.

Valerie has, similarly, courted the press; speaking of her feelings at discovering Hollande’s alleged betrayal as like “falling from a Sky-Scraper”. She has even gone so far as to say that although she has had break-ups before, this has been that much harder because of the media attention: irony, thy name is Valerie.

A more recent example of a First-Lady (of sorts) whose services were no longer required is that of Vicky Price, the ex-Wife of the Former Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh (Hampshire) Chris Huhne. Following an extremely well publicised Court Case in 2012, when she was found guilty of perverting the Course of Justice, Pryce wrote a book about her experience of being in Prison, a la Jeffrey Archer: “Prisonomics: Behind bars in Britain’s failing prisons”. Although more focused on the economics than on her lost romance, the tone of Vicky’s book would not be too many worlds apart from any words that Valerie Trierweiler might publish.

So how does the world view Valerie Trierweiler’s dealings with the press of recent weeks, and how would they view the possibility of a book?

Yes, there is a strong argument for those that would condemn Valerie for courting the press, using her personal life and that of two others as bait for media attention. When considering Hollande’s role in the French political system, one could suggest that he perhaps has more important issues to focus on than how his romantic life is being portrayed in the global press.

On the other hand, why should Trierweiler not court the press and write a book? As we all know, and as Shakespeare wrote: “we want bad”, and if a book of Valerie’s has the potential to sell then why should she not reap some gain from what has otherwise been a very torrid experience for her?

Nearly 17 years on from the tragic death of Princess Diana it appears that those (women) that feel that they have been unfairly treated still view the media as one of their only options for achieving justice. Perhaps Valerie Trieweiler’s public activities of late haven’t been the most discreet or befitting of a (former) First-Lady, however the press has always been and will continue to be (until society’s inequalities have been fully eradicated) a voice for those that seek it.

Abchaps welcomed some of Greenberg Traurig Maher’s finest up-and-coming lawyers into our office this week to catch up over some bubble and canap├ęs. The Company is growing at a phenomenal rate in a variety of sectors and one of their top associates, David Naser, explained how they were making the most of their US roots and heritage to bring a whole host of new clients through the door. We also did our very best penguin impressions as we donned our finest black ties ensembles for the Quoted Company awards. Several of our clients and indeed Abchurch were up for awards and we were narrowly pipped at the post by some very worthy competitors.

During this week's market lunch program, conversations covered a number of sector trends and, safe in the knowledge that Chatham House Rules apply, we got the low down on market predictions for 2014.

Abchaps also attended a heated discussion on the arguments for and against Fracking in the context of its affect on the future of Renewable Energy sources. A number of key players from the City attended the event, and we look forward to pushing this discussion further with our Green City network. This was another excellent event put on by Eco Connect’s Robert & Catherine Hokin, and well hosted by Smith & Williamson.

Cantor Fitzgerald has made two strong appointments this week. Cantor’s consumer group welcomes a new deputy head of corporate finance with the hiring of Tim Medak, formerly of Ernst and Young. Secondly, Jamie Cumming joins as a consultant at the investment bank. Prior to his appointment, Jamie was at Brewin Dolphin where he was chief executive of its securities business.

Media Personality": A person of great media interest

Happy Chinese New Year! So, as of today, start your weekend as you wish your year to progress - it’s officially The Year of the Horse! There will be Chinese dragons, floats, cuisine and Tangyuan a-plenty, but to witness the celebratory highlight, head central to Leicester Square this Sunday for the capital’s official New Year parade.

Sporting fans rejoice, as this weekend hosts a sporting marathon! The Six Nations will literally kicking things off: Saturday sees Wales take on Italy at 2.30pm followed by, at 6pm, England triumphantly (fingers crossed!) taking on France. Then Sunday sees Ireland attempt to defend its title as it tackles Scotland at 3pm. If you hadn’t filled your sporting boots by this point, fear not as 6pm Sunday marks the start of the American sporting event of the year – Super Bowl Sunday 2014. Here is the Evening Standards top venue tips for the full immersive, American experience.

Finally, one for the Scandiphile enthusiasts: Nordicana 2014 takes centre stage this weekend. The festival will showcase the best Nordic fiction and film at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. Featuring the compelling ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ trilogy and Wallander series, discussion forums and feasts of herring and rye… it’s a must for all Nordic Noir’s.

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