The comedian may face some unlikely negative backlash from the move, but according to a PR expert, it’s all looking up for the funnyman who turned the internet on its head this week when he announced his new name. It all went down on Sunday when it emerged comedian Joe (well, now Hugo) had legally changed his name by deed poll to Hugo Boss in protest against the massive company targeting a small brewery in Swansea that shared the Boss name. Now Hayley Smith, of Boxed Out PR, has praised the move, believing it will very much work in Joe/Hugo’s favour seeing as it’s both in line with his brand and something no one saw coming.
‘Changing his name to Hugo Boss will most likely boost his career, and it has already boosted his profile as many panel and comedy shows will want to hone in on this topic,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘The issue is, is that this may only be temporary and doesn’t really have the legs to carry him very far. How many times can he do this before it becomes samey and boring? ‘However, we have already seen Hugo Boss’ (the brand’s) response and it has been positive. So in terms of PR and awareness, Joe (Hugo) has done a really good thing. And he could really cash in on this by calling out other companies and brands. He could change his comedy direction to comedic activism.’
Should he be keen to cash in, Smith estimates Joe could stand to boost his bank balance by ‘at least £1.5million’ due to the work this will generate. She continued: ‘The PR he has already gained from this is invaluable, and he is already a regular on several panel shows as well as a presenter for his own shows. He will be in popular demand with shows falling over themselves to book him, so he will be in a fantastic position to negotiate. ‘I also wouldn’t be surprised if Netflix approached him for his own show.’ Still, this kind of activism doesn’t always come without its backlash, with Smith suggesting a small chance he may face flack from the LGBTQ+ community, and trans people specifically, over the seemingly-hasty name change – even if it was for a bigger reason of protest.