Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

John Flower: a case study in PR suicide


Last year I wrote two posts about my experience in trying to stop a Melbourne PR company from sending me spam email. The first, ‘Hot house media and events – fuck off you moronic PR goons‘, detailed how the company, Hothouse, broke the law by refusing to uphold its responsibility to conform to the Privacy Act and the Spam Act. The second, ‘the retarded vacuity of John Flower‘, detailed the behaviour of the company’s director, John Flower, in responding to the bad PR he and his company received from me.

Flower’s response was to engage in an episode of malicious stalking, whereby he attempted to represent me in a negative way to my employer behind my back. It was a petty act of spiteful stupidity, and when I exposed it he appeared even more retarded. It achieved nothing other than to further demonstrate his PR incompetence.

Since then Flower has sent me two more emails with attached letters despite acknowledging both times that he knows I don’t want to be contacted. What part of ‘don’t contact me’ doesn’t he understand? This is stalking and harassment.

I expect that this post will be the final word from me on this topic. If it isn’t, it will be because I will be reporting on the legal action I will take to uphold my legal rights. I’ve been more than patient with him considering the circumstances, but he’s about to realise the true consequences of his actions.

First, on 18 January, he wrote:

Dear Brian

Firstly, I would like to apologise for sending you information that is abundantly clear you do not wish to receive. Back in 2009 I mistakenly thought you might be interested in a young Melbourne chef representing Australia in a unique cooking competition in Venice.

Shortly after you requested your name be removed from our database we were in the prolonged process of changing from one database system to another, unfortunately your contact was not completely removed – from here I take full responsibility for any inconvenience occurred in receiving communications and enquiries from HotHouse.

In relation to my conversation with your employers, I need to point out that I have known your new employers for 40 years and I often see them socially at Food & Wine events. I in no way asked anyone to speak to you about your blog.

I admit I probably should have made contact with you after your first blog appeared, to be quite honest I didn’t want to antagonise the situation further, this was another mistake on my behalf and I offer you a further apology.

I have been embarrassed by your comments and while I particularly dislike confrontation I would like to try and resolve the issues between us.

I would like the opportunity to meet with you in person, should you be agreeable.

I look forward to hearing from you.



My response:

Hi John

Thanks for your email. I accept your apology but have no interest in meeting you.

I did not claim that you asked the CEO or staff at my employer to speak to me about my site. But this should have seemed to you to be a likely consequence of your act of bringing it to their attention.

Your behaviour in linking my personal life with my employer was apparently motivated by spite or revenge and was entirely inappropriate.

I consider the issue to have reached a natural conclusion and have no interest in discussing it further.

The second email and attached letter arrived on 17 March:

Dear Brian

Whilst you requested me not to contact you again, I find that I must do so in relation to your post on HotHouse Media & Events.

Following my letter of apology in January of this year, I’ve since learned of the effect your post has had on HotHouse. Over the past six months I’ve received comments from a number of people mentioning your blog, I’m also aware of at least one prospective client who decided not to make contact with HotHouse after reading your online comments.

As I’ve apologised to you and taken full responsibility for any inconvenience caused you by me and my staff, I now appeal to you for your sensitivity in this matter.

I therefore ask that you to please remove the comments from your Indolent Dandy blog.

Yours sincerely

John Flower

My response:


Let me make it perfectly clear: I do not want to be contacted by you or anyone who represents you or your company ever again.

If you fail to honour my legal right to privacy your company will be reported to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Privacy Commissioner for breaching the Privacy Act and Spam Act for repeatedly contacting me against my express wishes.

You will personally be reported to the Victoria Police and I will press charges in response to your stalking and harassment behaviour.

You don’t have any right to ask me to modify or delete the content I publish, but you have just earned yourself more bad press.

You are responsible for making yourself look stupid and for losing clients. You’ll have to learn to live with this.


Flower must be senile. He gets the name of my site wrong. He thinks it reasonable to ask me to censor myself for his commercial benefit. Naively he attempts to appeal to my ‘sensitivity’. He should have spoken to some of my previous girlfriends about that. They might have told him about my minimalist approach to sensitivity.

Most absurdly of all he thinks it possible that I could feel sympathy for him. Like all sociopaths / bullies, he sees himself as the victim and the true victim as the instigator of the conflict. He has not taken responsibility for his behaviour at all.

Old school media dinosaurs have to learn one crucial lesson. New / online / social media is not really that different to old / print / broadcast media. Once something is published, you can’t unpublish it. Newspapers can be burned, and web caches purged, but deleting every copy of a piece of content is as difficult as it ever was. Just because digital content can be deleted does not mean it should be.

I have delayed taking any substantial revenge because this oxygen thief represents nothing but a waste of time. I’m thrilled with Flower’s humiliating acknowledgement that he has lost business as a result of his behaviour. It’s a far greater admission than I was ever expecting to hear. I can’t take credit for this; it was all his own doing.

I am serious in my statement of intent. Legal action will ensue if Flower contacts me again. I’ve beaten multinational corporate giants like News Ltd and Formula One Management in previous legal disputes, and I’ve already beaten Flower. He’s just too stupid to know it.

Flower has no idea of my troublemaking potential. If he thinks he’s suffering now, he obviously has no imagination. I’m imagining what would happen to his business if he was convicted of a criminal offence. How many potential clients would that impress? I’m curious to find out…


  1. Fair dinkum. Should he ever disturb your tranquility again, take him to the cleaners. Given that he and I share the same name, I’m just fortunate that the people who matter can easily spot a moron from a decent bloke. I came across this blog in a narcissistic moment of googling my own name.

  2. What a shame to see a simple act of sharing of information has come to this. I have worked with John and he is an angel.

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