Not so long ago, the letters PMK were the three most feared in Hollywood. Now the upcoming takeover of the one-time celebrity publicity giant by a communications firm known primarily for its corporate clients has made everyone in Hollywood ask: how could this happen? How could a company that was once so powerful it could literally dictate what questions reporters could ask Tom Cruise be gobbled up so easily?
The surprising answer: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
"The day the two biggest stars in Hollywood decided to fire their personal publicist and not replace them, the whole world of publicity changed forever. They proved that stars didn't need publicists anymore to communicate. And every celebrity watches Brad and Angie," Bonnie Fuller, President and Editor and Chief of HollywoodLife.com told me.
Brad and Angie want to give off the impression of being above it all, so, for the most part, they either speak for themselves or say nothing at all. They are experts in manipulating public opinion with their actions, not via spokespeople. Most recently they stepped out with the kids, all smiles and happiness, when the less than flattering tell-all book Brangelina by Ian Halperin was released, knowing full well that photos are much more powerful than anything an "insider" can say.
But its not just the Brad and Angie example that have publicists trembling in their Pradas. New technology has allowed celebrities direct access to their fans and further diluted the power of the personal publicist.
Ashton, Lindsay, Jessica, Demi, Miley and the always-chatty John Mayer use Twitter daily to update us on their every move. Which makes you wonder why they are paying anywhere between $6,000 - $8,000 per month to keep a publicist on retainer.
But fear not, personal publicist friends! Even though Bonnie Fuller doubts there will ever again be a publicist as powerful as the great PMK founder Pat Kingsley, someone will always need you to make dinner reservations or carry their bag. Just don't worry about the press; celebs have that covered!