Sony Music Chief Executive Rob Stringer was bestowed the prestigious honour of receiving a CBE ranking from the Queen on New Years Day.
However, a new report released by Daily Mail alleges that Sony’s former PR firm, who were apparently on a $33,000 monthly retainer, obtained endorsement letters from celebrities in an attempt to improve Stringer’s chances of receiving the honour.
Daily Mail alleges that Right Angles PR chased TV presenter Nick Owen, magazine editor Dylan Jones and film executive Ged Doherty, who all provided letters of endorsement for Stringer. The publication says James Corden was also asked and complied, but the letter was never written.
Daily Mail reports that they obtained leaked emails that support their claims. The publication alleges that the emails reveal;
” – Mr Stringer met the British consul general in New York after he was told the official could influence the honours system in his favour;
– PR boss Paul Blanchard tried to coach Gavin and Stacey star Corden how to construct an endorsement letter for the Sony boss;
– Celebrities including Jo Whiley and Pharrell Williams also provided endorsement letters for Mr Stringer (but were not contacted by Mr Blanchard).”
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Daily Mail additionally reports that Mr. Blanchard (of Right Angles PR) lined up a meeting between Stringer and the then consul general Antony Phillipson in September 2019 in New York. The publication alleges that one of the leaked emails advised Stringer how to act towards Phillipson in the meeting.
Mr Stringer is told: “This man is a crucial piece in the jigsaw for our – ahem – secret project… as he will be the guy who is giving “the nod”. Think of him as the man from Del Monte. Except that he likes you already, is grateful for your help, and is minded to say yes. And I genuinely think you two will get on and become friends. Which is what we want,” Daily Mail reports.
A CBE is one of the highest honours for a British citizen, and is a ranking for Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Stringer was awarded one for his “service to the music industry and philanthropic endeavors.”
According to a statement issued by the U.K. government, Stringer is feted for “an exceptional and sustained contribution to the British music business as well as charity causes and tackling discrimination.”
Stringer joined fellow Brits Benedict Cumberbatch, Catherine Zeta Jones and Joan Collins as recipients of a CBE.