In light of recent high profile court cases that have put the spotlight on the behaviour of celebrity role models, Kruger Cowne’s CEO Mark Cowne spoke to BBC Radio about the responsibility that we have, as an agent, to our talent and clients.
On the question of whether becoming famous automatically makes you a role model and if it does, do you have to accept everything that comes with it the responsibility to act in a certain way? Mark presented Kruger Cowne’s stance:
“You are a public figure and you have used your public awareness to get you the sort of deals you are getting, so therefore when you are in public you have to remember what it is you’re supposed to be doing.”
Referencing Danny Cipriani’s court case earlier that week, Mark was asked if we are too relaxed with public figures? This came in response to news that despite a guilty plea and acceptance of a £2000 fine, Cipriani would receive the full backing of his club and as such he will return to work with little impact.
Responding in a broader sense to such incidents and the appropriate consequences, Mark said: “It really depends on what you have done. There are levels at which it’s definitely not acceptable. If someone has done something immoral, illegal, or out of line with the images set to the people they are involved with. It’s absolutely 100% wrong for them in any way to behave badly and they should lose the deals as a result of that.”
To this, Mark was asked if Kruger Cowne employs a code of conduct for the people we look after, to tackle or prevent these types of circumstances.
“Yes, we definitely do. We are agents for the talent who we represent and we are tasked with finding commercial work, tasked with building their profile and associating their brands with brands which are relevant to them, or need to be built up with names such as them as brand ambassadors, or delivering speeches or whatever it is that they do.
It’s absolutely critical that they are 100% ethical, 100% reliable and not only historically but hopefully into the future, in terms of what we put them forward for. We are very concerned about how their image is effecting those things around them.”
As an agency representing icons from all walks of life and industry sectors, reputation and confidence in us is paramount. There’s more to it than merely handling a potentially troublesome talent. Mark continued:
“If we have someone on our books who behaves in an unethical manner it actually damages the image of other people on our books. We are seen to be a dodgy agent representing dodgy people and we can’t afford for that to happen. We have very high profile people, very, very seriously iconic people, great names and we cannot take the risk of having someone there who is untrustworthy or potentially liable to behave in a bad way.”
It comes down to the fact that we set very high standards in terms of the calibre and ability of the clients we represent. We are unable to recommend any talent in whom we are not totally confident.