Saturday, May 31, 2014

Downton blows it early doors - the ECB won't like that !

Writing in the Daily Telegraph today Nick Hoult says "As  a man who spent many years working in the corporate world in the city it is a surprise Downton has landed himself in trouble with lawyers."

Not really - in my experience. Most people in the Financial sector are not involved in making public statements about anything. A small minority work in PR or have to front up in public because of the seniority of their positions at the top of firms but I don't think that Downton fell into either category. His error was a communications error. He said the wrong thing. It was naivety in a media interview that caused the problem. 

The surprising thing is that the ECB is notorious for its control freakery! The reason that most statements and interviews are so bland and predictable is that coaches, captains and players are told  what to say. The ECB always controls the message. Downton has had ample time to go through the Board's extensive media training programme with its mock interviews and its copious instruction on how not to answer a question! Indeed it is arguable that Media Relations is one of the key requirements of the job Downton was appointed to.

Most of us assumed that Downton's more open response to Jonathan Agnew's questions about Pietersen was a deliberate policy on the part of the ECB to say more about the affair in response to criticism. It seems not and that he was winging it! Messrs Clarke and Collier won't like that one bit! Not least because of all the jobs in the ECB  hierarchy this job was the one most concerned with media relations. First up Downton, I'm afraid, has blown it.


Martin Moseling said...

Shame that an expensive education did not give him the ability to be able to tell the difference between "uninterested" and "disinterested" though,
Uninterested is, of course a state of having no financial interest, whereas disinterested is having to pay tax at a 50% rate!

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