#pricelessbuffoons

Let's be clear. The Brit Awards is exactly the kind of thing I would never, ever, be invited to.

On balance, that's probably a good thing, given my spectacular dislike for a great deal of the young people's music.

Not all of it, mind. Just a lot of it. And, specifically, the kind of bland, playlist-friendly froth likely to be showcased at The Brits.

You wouldn't imagine the Brit Awards being the kind of thing that would need a huge PR push to make it a success.

It's live on ITV for 2 hours in prime time, it's broadcast around the world. Radio 1 and Capital will lap it up for days.

Which makes the extraordinary clanger dropped by its PR firm even more surprising.

Telegraph columnist Tim Walker has revealed the bizarre list of conditions set in return for his ticket, and a lift to the ceremony:

Social media support from both publication and personal Twitter feed

Pre event – e.g. Really excited to be heading down to @BRITAwards tonight with @MasterCardUK #PricelessSurprises

Event night – live tweeting from the event including @MasterCardUK handle and #PricelessSurprises and to retweet @MasterCardUK tweets throughout the night where appropriate

Post event – tweet directing followers to @MasterCardUK BRITs YouTube videos

Pre-event coverage of MasterCard’s Priceless Surprise video edits with either Laura Mvula, Kylie Minogue and/or Pharrell Williams – to include full credit for MasterCardUK and #PriclessSurprises

All features to be pushed on publications social feeds – to include @MasterCardUK and #PricelessSurprises

MasterCard inclusion in post event write-up (print and online) including #PriclessSurprises hashtag and somethingforthefans.co.uk URL

This, by the way, isn't actually the full list of demands.

Doesn't it give you a warm feeling? Isn't it just what rock'n'roll is all about -- ruthlessly controlled publicity for a corporate sponsor, the performers you love dutifully line up to offer their tribute to a credit card firm. Musicians putting down their guitars to suckle at the corporate teat.

There's always going to be a tension between people in PR, who want to push a specific message on behalf of a client, and journalists, who are actually meant to question that message.

The Brits' PR team has managed to achieve a couple of things: They've provided plenty of material for students researching how not to publicise something, and they've also guaranteed their carefully constructed, corporately-approved, hashtag, is getting an awful lot of mentions on twitter: