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Bringing Nothing to the Party: Ben Cohen and the art of the press release

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Figures of £5m were quoted for his personal stake in the business. As it goes...

As it goes? As it goes?! - another useful tip, Ben, don't get your press release drafted by a chirpy Essex builder.

...the company merged with the London Jewish News... and then reversed into Totally plc on the AIM market. For a day Cohen was the youngest director of a publicly quoted company ever. His share in Totally was not worth anything like the £5m that was quoted two years earlier, it was valued at £310,000...

Hang on. Let me read that again. Is he saying he wasn't a millionaire at all? He's admitting it was never true? He lied in the title of his press release and then admitted it three paragraphs later? That's pretty ballsy.

...but had reduced to £40,000 when he came to sell his stake.

So in pounds sterling, he was actually a forty thousandaire. In what currency was he a millionaire? Yen?

Cohen was hyped from day one of his media debut. However, this was not by PR people - he had none - but by the press. Speculating at his stake in the business, Ben was made into a millionaire.

...and now the Oscar for most disingenuous paragraph in a bullshit press release. The envelope, please.

Cohen for his part never truly believed what was said about him and his bank balance and realised that at the end of the day he'd be very lucky to walk away from SoJewish.com with a few hundred thousand pounds.

Unlucky.

[Said Cohen] 'When I look back at the way that I was... I cringe. I was at the top of an industry that was built on sand. I was carried away with the fact that I, a mere 17 year old had as much experience as anyone else at building an Internet company.' 'I can remember how rude I could be at times to journalists and people phoning up for advice. Back then, I could be as obnoxious as I liked and people would still come back for more, they had to, I was Benjamin Cohen, the Dot Com sensation.'

Also, Benjamin Cohen, the cock.

...Shortly after the [BBC2 Trouble at the Top documentary that followed Cohen and his 'businesses' as they struggled to make money] was screened Benjamin says he grew up. 'I realised the stupidity of what was going on, there was no concentration on key revenue streams, it was all about land grab and not about money. I decided that the only way there would be a future was to start to cut back.'

Benjamin also decided to start a degree at King's College London in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. This, he says, has also forced him to grow up. 'The added work load of a degree has made me focus a lot more when I am in work. I still manage to spend around 40 hours a week at work but it is a lot more focused on what can make money as opposed to what makes me look good in the papers.'

He added... in a press release... sent to THE PAPERS.

'I think that really I spent too much time flirting with the media and not enough time working in the early years.'

His three-page PRESS RELEASE continues.

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