If you Google "James Frey", you get the image results up first, with him sitting on Oprah's couch getting publicly taken apart by the Queen of TV (or the Queen of the Free World, depending on your opinion). The 5th Google link takes you to the Smoking Gun website and its page entitled "A Million Little Lies" - the expose that revealed James Frey as "the man who conned Oprah". If James Frey was a brand, which I suppose you could argue he is, one might assume he was still in a hole.
I haven't read A Million Little Pieces, his 2005 memoir/novel, but the controversy around that book was so acute, I already had a negative opinion of him as a fabricator and liar. My desire to question that judgment made me pick up his new book "Bright Shiny Morning", on the way back from a trip a couple of weeks ago. It's a fabulous read.
The narrative tells the stories of people in modern LA following their dreams, with the city itself as the central character. Anyone who lives in LA, or spends any time there should read this book. As I became more engrossed, I realized that there was another layer of story with this book - that of the writer himself. I was reframing my opinion of him, the book was a redemption of James Frey in my mind.
It got me thinking about brand forgiveness. How much are we prepared to tolerate from our closest brands before we give them up? In a lot of cases, not much at all. I'd love to see a chart that had the worlds top brands given a "forgiveness rating". Who'd be top?
The Dozen is an eclectic take on innovation, branding, media, strategy and research, brought to you by the creative minds at Egg Strategy.