Glad to see you're out ... er, I mean back
As the Guardian put it, with suitable delicacy of phrase, “David Cameron’s ex-communications director, who was jailed over phone hacking, launches firm offering corporate strategy and communications advice”. Readers were informed that “Coulson Chapell promises its clients ‘discreet corporate strategy and communications advice’”. Like not saying “Do his phone” where anyone else can hear, perhaps.
How would the waiting world react to this news? We did not have long to find out: after Media Guardian had Tweeted “Former NoW editor Andy Coulson sets up PR firm”, smartly out of the blocks came Andy’s pal Piers Morgan. “HE'S BACK … Great news about my friend Andy Coulson. Can't imagine anyone better qualified for this line of work”. Each to their own, I suppose. And that was the only high point for Coulson.
Because then came the jokes, Kate Byron offering “Andy Coulson sets up a PR firm and so far no one has used 'For Immediate Release' as their headline”. John Prescott, no friend of the Murdoch press, and a victim of phone hacking, took a predictable line with “I see Andy Coulson has got a new job in PR. I left him a good luck message on my mobile”. He’d better get used to these - they’ll keep on coming.
Some were even less subtle than Prezza, and Ron Moore was positively dismissive: “To be honest, I'm a bit surprised Andy Coulson can spell PR”. Ouch! Discourse took the same line as the former deputy PM: “I'd like to make a comment about Andy Coulson starting a PR agency, but I don't have a password on my voicemails”.
Truda Spruyt concentrated on reputation, or the lack of it: “Looking for some reputation management? Andy Coulson's starting a PR agency!!” News Fox concluded that it should be Coulson who needed the PR applying: “Andy Coulson starts PR company. First client is Andy Coulson”. It would, no doubt, keep him busy.
Alex Smith observed “Andy Coulson’s new PR agency specialises in ‘discreet’ advice. No further comment”. No further comment, indeed. And Marie Le Conte brought news of the kind of problem Coulson may run into sooner rather than later: “Ironically, I do feel like hiring Andy Coulson's firm to do your PR would be pretty awful PR in itself”.