Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Murdochs: Dressed for Success

Blue is the color of trust and the three Murdochs, appearing before the select British Parliamentary committee investigating the phone hacking scandal, obviously wanted to be trusted. Rebekah Brooks, too.

The men wore navy suits, the proper high-contrast white shirts and blue ties. Mrs. Murdoch wore a medium-range blue blouse peeking from beneath her pink jacket. Trust, trust, trust.

Mrs. Murdoch's pink jacket was an inspired choice. Pink is a calming color which might help lessen any anger against her and/or her husband or even dispel envy. Pink is also a fabulous color for delivering bad news. With the level of ill-will against News Corp. and her husband, the bad news here is: my husband just might be innocent.

As fabulous as the choice of pink was for Mrs. Murdoch, it would not have been a good choice for Rebekah Brooks. The two women had very different roles and were appearing in different capacities. And Rebekah Brooks' muted navy unstructured silk suit projected a brilliant melange of messages combining the credibility, authority and approachability that the embattled former editor needed.

Foremost was the same blue - for trust - that her bosses wore. The color and the matched suit established credibility. The single, monochromatic color of the outfit signaled authority. The flowing fabric and the unstructured nature of the suit added cordiality and gentleness, a touch that might help soften the animosity towards her.

While the ultimate verdict has not been rendered, the three Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks did everything they could to have their clothes establish their messages and plead their nonverbal cases before and while they spoke the verbal.

What do you think?

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