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Re-branding Mel Gibson

To: Mel Gibson

From: Mr. Houdini

Miracle Workers Communications

Re: PR strategy

Our research shows that you have a lower approval rating than BP CEO Tony Hayward and are tied with Satan (although you poll better than LeBron James does in Cleveland). Given these results, we recommend targeting groups that are usually bypassed in traditional public relations campaigns. We have identified several demographics that would embrace a "new" Mel Gibson.

Go global: A focus group of Afghan Taliban members responded positively to the statement, "Mel Gibson is right about the Jews." (This was also the only group surveyed that agreed with the statement, "Mel Gibson is a feminist.") To raise your profile with this demographic, we propose that you make a movie about the life of Mohammed. One title that tested well was "The Pilgrimage of The Prophet." We strongly recommend against making this an animated film.

Faith-based marketing: Our research indicates a wellspring of goodwill for you in America's fundamentalist community. While this demographic reacted negatively to your statements regarding Jews, African-Americans and Latinos, there is an opportunity to exploit your beliefs concerning same-sex marriage. One option would be to make a sequel to "The Kids Are All Right," the current movie about a same-sex couple raising children. The title that tested best was "The Kids Are Screwed Up — And They Are Gay, Just Like Their Lesbian Parents."

Be political: The upcoming midterm elections present an opportunity to ingratiate yourself with parts of the electorate sympathetic to your views. Given that you polled well with voters who agreed with the statement "the 1964 Civil Rights Act should be repealed," we suggest that you endorse Kentucky's Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul on your Facebook page. Another way to win favor with this group would be to have the paparazzi photograph you at a tea party rally, holding one of those signs that compares President Barack Obama to a monkey.

Turn "wetback" into a comeback: There are pockets of support in the Western United States for your recent comments about Latinos. Our polling data suggests that volunteering for Arizona's Minuteman Border Fence patrol would help you penetrate this group.

Militia Mel: Ninety-eight percent of self-identified militia members agreed with the statement, "Mel Gibson is a swell guy." This group was also enthusiastic about your film "The Patriot." A sequel, in which the protagonist joins a militia to fight a U.N.-installed world government, would be a blockbuster with this demographic. One of our other clients, Lindsay Lohan, has expressed interest in being your co-star in such a film.

By the way, I'm sorry I missed your phone call the other day, but my secretary forgot to tell me you were on the line.

Ben Krull is a writer living in New York. His e-mail is ben@krull.com.

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