15 months for Aussie PR insider trader, McKay

Former Aristocrat PR adviser Margot McKay has received 15months periodic detention after encouraging family & friends to buy $150,000 of Aristocrat shares, before positive reporting on same. Ironically, McKay had been engaged by the gaming company to improve its image and restore its reputation. ‘Periodic detention’ could mean that she has to check into prison on a Friday night, then be released after the weekend, for the duration of the jail term. In her own defence, Margot cited disillusionment with her clients’ attitudes to problem gamblers (of which her young son was one); remember, she said she wanted to profit to help pay her son’s mounting gambling debts.

Course, in PR you always have other options; don’t get too emotionally-involved with client attitudes and if it all gets too tough, resign the account. On a personal level, maybe she didn’t need to bail her son out; perhaps he needed to experience the consequences of his addiction in order to see he needed to seek professional counselling or addiction support. We wish Margot and her son speedy recovery from this trying situation and all their personal troubles. Story thanks to Weekend Age.

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