The ‘Wagatha Christie’ lawsuit saw the profiles of Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney rocket, both capable of capitalizing in the future – albeit in very different ways and for markedly different reasons, reputation experts have claimed.
Vardy’s spectacular goal chasing Rooney may have seen her openly mocked, her reputation trashed and facing a potential £3million legal bill – but she will never be in demand again and could bounce back against all odds, they said.
Reality TV shows will be knocking on his door, said Jonathan Hartley, a media consultant who specializes in crisis management. “I’m a celebrity…Get me out of here!” would absolutely bite your hands off for her, just for the fact that her profile has never been higher. There will be many offers, more than she has ever had before. The controversy just made it more interesting,” he said.
Rooney, meanwhile, who is making a documentary about the case, can expect offers from many brands keen to partner with the “vilified girl next door” persona she has acquired.
“We live on pantomime. Reality TV and social media provide us with pantomime characters on a daily basis. So here we have the “Wicked Witch” and the “Good Fairy”. I think pantomime king Michael Harrison will be on the phone today,” said public relations expert Mark Borkowski.
Hartley said the verdict may seem like a disaster for a “devastated” Vardy, but “almost always people can come back after getting their reputations really badly tarnished”.
He added: “Coleen had won before the verdict in terms of PR. Everyone seemed to be on his side. The fact that most people thought Rebekah Vardy was in the dock showed how badly it had turned out for her. The clips that came out during the trial were more damaging to Rebekah than to Coleen.
“But the British public are brilliant at forgiving. She [Vardy] must create a long-term strategy. She has to do some my culpa. She needs to show that she understands where it went wrong and why people were upset.
A nice TV interview could be a start. “Piers Morgan would like it,” but whether the gladiatorial arena was the best vehicle for Vardy at this stage was debatable, he added. Charity work was another option. But she shouldn’t rush anything.
Rooney, on the other hand, could take advantage of the many offers that are sure to come his way. “If I was Coleen, I would absolutely use the profile and goodwill she has and take advantage of any offers,” Hartley said.
“In a weird way, Coleen, PR-wise, better walk away from this story. Not because she did anything wrong. But because she has high morals and she doesn’t want to be seen exploiting this and kicking Rebekah while she’s down.
Wag-like brands should stay away from Vardy for a while though. “The kind of deals with the kind of retailers that might go to a Wag will evaporate,” Borkowski said.
“It’s huge for Coleen, and she has the people around her to market it. She remains the reviled girl next door. She came across as very strong, walking into court with that big boot, [Wayne] behind her holding her purse.
“She’s back in the game now. I think people will look at her and think, “That’s someone we want.” And she will be in demand, but for entirely different reasons than Vardy.
“It’s a disaster for Vardy,” he added. “She could go with the antics. I always remember Christine and Neil Hamilton showing up on every chat show with a brown paper bag, and they seemed to be recovering because they were doing situational comedy,” he said of the fall of the former MP following the “money for questions” scandal. .
“She [Vardy] can disappear without a trace, or do private charitable things quietly in the background, a sort of John Profumo of the world of women footballers. However, it will be requested. You name it – tabloid TV, reality TV. But, the way she started this action, I don’t think it will be a comfortable place for her.
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