Episode 14 of CIPR's Engage podcast out now; The rise of Spin and Celebrity


“I think that the day that Victoria Beckham, when she was asked about her ambition with The Spice Girls, and she said that she wants to be more famous than Persil Automatic, I think that was the beginning of the age where celebrities perceived that their collateral, their presence, could be exploited.”

Mark Borkowski, Founder of Borkowski

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) Engage podcast returns with a new episode exploring the rise of spin and the evolution of 1990s celebrity culture and power.  

Hosted by Mark Phillimore, a Senior Lecturer on the Master programme in Public Relations at the University of Greenwich, Episode 14 – The Rise of Spin and Celebrity – is the third instalment in the Engage series dedicated to celebrating the CIPR’s 75th anniversary.  

This episode explores the commodification of celebrity in the 1990s and how the changing nature of celebrity PR, media relations, and the rise of digital and social media forced PR to adapt and become more nimble, integrated and inventive.  

Joining host, Mark Phillimore, for this episode are guests:  

  • Mark Borkowski, Founder of Borkowski  
  •  Rob McGibbon, a celebrity interviewer, journalist and author   
Debbie West Chart.PR, MCIPR, Chair CIPR Podcast Editorial Board

The 1990s was a formative era for celebrity culture and this episode examines how PR tactics and media relations rapidly transformed alongside the evolving influence of celebrities and tabloid media. This deep dive is more than just a retrospective analysis of the past; it’s a blueprint for understanding the roots of today’s media and communications landscape and the agility and creativity required of PR practitioners in the digital age. 

Many thanks to our guests, Mark Borkowski and Rob McGibbon, for their invaluable insights in today's discussion, and a special thanks to our host, Mark Phillimore, for expertly chairing this episode.

Debbie West Chart.PR, MCIPR, Chair CIPR Podcast Editorial Board

The CIPR's Podcast Editorial Board makes significant efforts to feature diverse panels in its episodes. Unforeseen circumstances led to a last-minute withdrawal of a guest, impacting representation on this panel.


About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners with over 10,000 members.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).