Lord Tim Bell has urged pubs to diversify by offering "information, news and entertainment".
The public relations guru, who was made a peer by Margaret Thatcher, told an Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers audience yesterday that pubs need to embrace their role at the centre of the commnunity.
Lord Bell also forecast a period of austerity after the election so severe that it would lead to "social unrest".
"We're going to have social unrest — it's going to be horrible," he said.
Lord Bell also offered his view of the current election race. "Gordon Brown is dead (in electoral terms). The man is actually mad.
"He has spent more than we have earned for the past 13 years and it's very possible the country could go into administration. The Government has actually destroyed Britain."
He argued that "it's not possible for Nick Clegg to become Prime Minister".
Referring to the Conservatives, he said that the UK now needed the "nasty people" to come and sort out the public finances.
David Cameron was positioning himself, he said, as someone "who's not really a toff" and the leader of a party that "won't be as nasty as usual".
He also told the audience about his recent work advising Goldman Sachs and Toyota in the United States and his most recent client — Rochdale pensioner Gillian Duffy.
He said she was unlikely to vote at all because her postal vote was sitting on her hall table — and she couldn't go home because "478 journalists were camped outside her house" and she is leaving for Canada for a four-week holiday on Saturday.