THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best Internal Memos
campaignlive.co.uk, Tuesday, 17 December 2002 12:00AM
WCRS's chairman, Robin Wight, in a short and sweet all-staffer issued on learning that the agency hadn't won Orange: "Mother. Fucker." Attempts by Campaign's editor to get Wight to use this as a basis for a trade ad sadly failed.
2. OGILVY & MATHER
When Paul Simons abruptly exited Ogilvy & Mather in March, a dynamite internal memo sent by the European chairman, Mike Walsh, proved there was no love lost. "Paul does not share the strength of my commitment to the cultural values of Ogilvy," Walsh wrote. "There have been many attempts ... to influence Paul Simons' view of Ogilvy ... to no avail." Ouch.
3. ABBOTT MEAD VICKERS BBDO
When Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO took the decision to hire the disgraced doctorers Paul Belford and Nigel Roberts, a management memo managed to compare the team's vilification with that of David Beckham in 1998's World Cup. "People make mistakes, sometimes really bad ones," it said. "Before they were famous cheats, they were famous for being the best press team in the country."
When Publicis' Roger Haupt sent an e-mail to D'Arcy and Leo Burnett following the announcement that D'Arcy was being folded into the Publicis Groupe, employees worldwide were doubtless thrilled to see what Haupt thought: "In my view, what you are about to read is a very exciting development." Making no effort to reassure the worried troops about their job security, Haupt used the opportunity to announce the "truly exciting news" that the network would service General Motors out of Detroit. Oh, crisis averted, then.
A memo from D'Arcy's John Farrell, Susan Gianinno and Lee Garfinkel to D'Arcy's board of directors entitled "Parting company with Mars" admitted the world's worst-kept secret - "The relationship has been strained for years" - and demonstrated that no-one had consulted their crystal ball.
6. PROCTER & GAMBLE
Good to see Procter & Gamble sending the heads of its advertising agency networks directives to up the creative ante in a bid to scoop a Gold Lion. Listing a raft of international awards Daz's Door Step challenge will face an uphill struggle winning, it intoned: "We would like P&G's roster agencies to be proactive in applying for these awards with P&G work." See what one agency thought of this in Best Letters, p44.
7. J. WALTER THOMPSON
An all-staff J. Walter Thompson memo about the Christmas party overzealously instructed staff to "follow the guidelines below", told everyone how to enter the building and barked: "Identify yourself to security! NO smoking in the disco area, building to be fully empty by 1am." Rock 'n' roll.
8. BBC WORLDWIDE
A leaked internal memo from BBC Worldwide erroneously positioned Auntie's proposed new series Ace Lightning as a lucrative merchandising opportunity. In his enthusiasm to get at kiddies' pocket money, the global brand manager forgot the rules of not interfering with programme scheduling and suggested a Saturday morning slot to "drive eyeballs to the show and then sell items associated with it to children between the ages of seven and 12".
9. SAATCHI & SAATCHI
Not just the worldwide chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, but also the sensitive author behind the infamous Saatchi Lovemarks. And Roberts can't resist penning all-network memos on the topic: "Focus on the three heat centres of Lovemarks - mystery, sensuality and intimacy. What is it about your Lovemark that makes your heart soar?" Oh God.
10. J. WALTER THOMPSON
An all-staffer showed that despite having only won two bits of domestic business by June, the agency's preoccupations remained elsewhere. "Due to popular demand, we have re-ordered in the JWT navy drawstring bags," it informed the building.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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