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UK’s biggest PR agency is a one-man-whisky-addled-band

29 August 2022

Newspage celebrates its second birthday this week.

If someone asked you who the UK’s biggest PR agency was, you’d probably think of some soulless corporate giant, likely owned by the yanks, and then punch them in the face.

But the real answer is actually fascinating. Well, kind of. OK, probably not at all but you’re here now, so there.

It’s not some fancy City-based PR outfit run by besuited spivs who couldn’t cut it in journalism. Au contraire, Blackadder.

It’s actually a middle-aged beardy with a drink problem and countless demons, who works predominantly in bed, in his pants. Somewhere in Bath.

Dominic Hiatt, who used to be a journalist, and who used to work in normal PR, had an epiphany during the first lockdown in April 2020. He thought:

F**k it. All my life I’ve been trying to up my day rate, so now I’m going to give it all away for free. Seems like the sensible thing to do.

“Completely irrational”, “commercial suicide”, “up your meds, fruitcake” and “tosser” were just some of the lines thrown at him by his bewildered colleagues.

Blaggers and Hooray Henrys (and Henriettas)

But on the plane of pataphysics where Hiatt spends most of his time, it ticked all the boxes and felt like the right thing to do.

That and the fact he wanted to give the conventional PR world the bird, as it’s full blaggers and Hooray Henrys (and Henriettas).

And so, dear reader, the idea for Newspage, the UK’s first free PR platform, was born.

Newspage reached the grand old age of two a week or so back and Hiatt, with a bit of help from some tech geeza he has never met in Prague and a disillusioned banker in Finland, has managed, quite incredulously, to land himself several thousand clients, the vast majority of whom pay him sweet FA.

But he doesn’t care.

All that matters is Newspage, the UK’s biggest PR agency with thousands of clients, is run by one bloke, in his pants, in Bath (OK, technically they’re not clients, they’re users, but you can overlook that bit).

And by the dog, Socrates, what magic he works.

Each day, Hiatt’s ‘Newspagers’ rip their way through the media like that scene from The Return of The King when those dead dudes hop off the boat and have at it with the orcs and stuff.

And they love it. So much so that one, Lewis Shaw, has described Newspage as the “Ford Escort Cabriolet of PR“. If you’re under 40, Google it.

Il faut imaginer Sisyphus heureux

With each piece of media coverage that he secures for someone who would never be able to afford a PR agency, Hiatt’s day is made.

He’s generated well over 100,000 pieces of media coverage for Newspagers to date, and with each piece, the demons in Hiatt’s head subside for a few magical moments.

Like a whisky-addled Sisyphus on all manner of prescription meds, he is happy.

But more importantly, so are his users.


Should the Bank of England raise rates before Crimbo?

14 October 2021

No it bloody well shouldn’t, according to the majority of Newspagers.

“With one in five mortgage holders confirming they have used their own savings to cover their mortgage payments this year, a Bank of England rate rise could be catastrophic”, reckons Doug Miller of Lansdown Financial Services down in the good ol’ West Country.

“Many are already on the breadline, with some dangerously close to the point of no return if their outgoings increase further”, Doug adds. Well said bab.

Mark Scott, Ops Director at the Azura Group in sunny (like never) Clacton-On-Sea, thinks Doug has hit the nail on the head: “Any increase in interest rates at this time will cause further pain to the many households that are already struggling to cope with the increased cost of living.”

Scott Gallacher, an impressively cerebral chartered financial planner over at Rowley Turton in Leicester is also concerned that raising rates “is unlikely to reduce inflation and could be disastrous for borrowers.” And Scott’s usually right, in fairness.


Or is he? Wait a minute. We have us a renegade in the ranks.

Another financial plannery guy, Joshua Gerstler of The Orchard Practice in Borehamwood, says everyone above is talking garbage (well he doesn’t exactly, but it sounds good) and that we need a rate rise prontissimo: “The longer we leave it to increase interest rates, the harder people with mortgages will find it when we do.”

Utter nonsense bellows Iain Swatton of always-on mortgage switching site, Dashly (of course Iain didn’t bellow that, it’s just more idle hyperbole): “For now, it’s important to build confidence in a fragile economy and maintain growth, and a rate rise risks scuppering that. Choking things now could impact confidence, stifle spending and knock the recovery off-course.”

Sounds dead clever does that, Iain.

Cheating coke fiend

But if you think that’s clever, enter Rob Gill of London-based Altura Mortgage Finance, who somehow manages to bring erstwhile soccer great (and cheating, Cohiba-chugging coke fiend) Diego Maradona into the interest rate debate:

“The Bank of England needs to adopt what Mervyn King called the ‘Maradona theory of interest rates’. This referred to a certain famous Maradona goal against England where he beat five English players while running in virtually a straight line. Maradona was able to clear a straight path towards goal by signalling to the defenders that he might be about to turn. Making people believe a rate rise might be imminent can create the right level of caution in parts of the economy, while avoiding the potentially damaging effects of an actual rise. A neat trick if the Bank can pull it off.”

We sort of understand what Rob’s on about. Kind of. Actually not at all, but you can’t deny it sounds impressive. Chapeau Mr Gill. Your quote was pinned right to the top of the viewsWire.



3 July 2021

22,075,000 seconds is how long the average human lives, according to a cursory scan of the internet.

In short, the clock is ticking. Time is killing us all.

But not to worry.

House prices have risen by an average 13.4% over the past year, according to the Nationwide June house price index.

So everything is hunky-dory.

Here’s what Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, had to say about the figures (warning: a part of you will die inside when you read this) :

“Annual house price growth accelerated to 13.4% in June, the highest outturn since November 2004. Indeed, June saw the third consecutive month-on-month rise (0.7%), after taking account of seasonal effects.”

I mean, seriously? There are only 23 people left on the planet who use the word ‘Indeed’, and seven of them are in the nuthouse.

The real story here isn’t the fact that house prices have risen by 13.4% annually.

It’s that we pay attention to this garbage in the first place, and are not engaging in bacchanalian orgies, wringing pleasure out of every last second of the pitiful time we have left.

Placing value on things that have no meaning is, of course, common. House prices keep us occupied. They dull the deep existential terror within. Heidegger called it ‘Geworfenheit’, or ‘thrownness’.

But when we’re being licked by hell’s eternal flame, in the abode of the damned, we’ll be regretting every second that we obsessed about bricks and mortar.