Campaign Annual 2007: Top 10 Diary Stories

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 14 December 2007 12:00AM

1. Muirhead follows in Sir Les Patterson's footsteps

There is obviously already one very prestigious title sitting in the upper echelons of 36 Golden Square, London.

However, Lord Saatchi has now been joined by Bill Muirhead, who has somehow picked up the honourable, and very handy, title of agent-general for South Australia.

Now, this may not sound as impressive as a Lordship, but the perks are quite phenomenal. Not only does this honour grant the antipodean an official residence in the UK, but also an official car (complete with little flags and plumage) and a diplomatic passport.

On further questioning about how Muirhead ended up receiving said honour, an M&C source explained: "The title is given to well-reputed Australians in England. And because there are only two of those, and one's in jail, it fell in Muirhead's lap."

2. Buonaguidi exposes his one-man crime crusade

Burglars of London beware. Dave Buonaguidi, the creative director and founder of Karmarama, is looking for you.

Writing in The Guardian, Buonaguidi tells of how he confronted a burglar after numerous thefts from his one-bedroom basement flat in London's Elephant & Castle (prospective pilferers take note: he's moved).

Buonaguidi returned home to find a burglar escaping from one of his windows. Immediate, violent action was required: "I hit him very hard on the head with a shovel. He flew out of the window, but not before I'd turned the blade sideways and struck him between his fingers and cleaved his hand open." Ouch.

3. Adman, style guru and Austin Powers lookalike

Young fashionistas are clamouring to appear on the web's fashion blog of the moment, thesartorialist.blogspot.com, only to be beaten to it by London's most eccentrically dressed adman, Robin Wight. Among the Chanel-clad women and cravat-sporting men, you can now find none other than the Engine Group chairman boasting a very pink ensemble.

His outfit has stirred up some emotional, and very complimentary, responses from the website's fans. One person said: "That gentleman is the most amazing breath of fresh air on a cold fall day," while another exclaimed: "I feel rejuvenated looking at this gentleman."

Others, however, weren't quite so impressed. "That man looks like Austin Powers' grandfather," one said.

4. Rival chief executive asking for Johnny Hornby's help

Which group chief executive recently asked Johnny Hornby to take one of his senior management team under his wing?

The CHI & Partners fellow was approached about taking this person out on the town to give them a few lessons in how to be interesting and charismatic. Whatever next? Nigel Bogle giving classes on how to be scary?

5. Durden on Big Brother

Once every 30 years, the stars align in the skies, the gods smile and fortune rains down on the Diary. Yes, Jonathan Durden has entered "The House".

Durden had to sing for his supper on his first night, taking the role of the Native American in a rendition of the Village People's gay anthem YMCA, complete with the epically inaccurate lyric "Young man, young man". Indeed, the matchmakers in the house wasted no time before trying to marry off the "portly 49-year-old tycoon" (The Sun) with Carole, the unemployed 50-year-old peace activist, with whom he has so much in common.

The press is more revealing. Durden is a self-made millionaire who parties hard, used "mind techniques" to bed women and who tries to tap into the public consciousness to help clients increase sales. Could be any middle-aged ad man.

6. Dare's Wright shows off angelic warbling skills

Looking at this picture, you could be forgiven for thinking that this cute little songstress would be a global singing sensation by now in the vein of Christina Aguilera, Charlotte Church or even, ahem, Britney Spears.

However, this is actually the early recording career of none other than Lee Wright, Dare's talented managing director.

Taken in 1979, the picture shows a recording session for an album called Take A Little Rhythm, by the Scottish one-hit wonder Ali Thompson. Wright brought her singing talent to two tracks.

7. Red-letter day arrives for Clemmow Hornby Inge

Once again, Diary feels it is duty-bound to play whistleblower for the spelling police, after discovering that one of London's most successful ad agencies can't even spell its own name correctly.

When Campaign received a letter from the successful and well-respected agency Clemmow Hornby Inge, an eagle-eyed Diary spy spotted an error on the stamp left by the company's franking machine.

Apparently the letter was from "Clenmow Hornby Inge". Ooh, the embarrassment.

8. Grey resorts to the barest of necessities with the help of Mendelsohn and a chair

Over the years, agencies have come up with innovative and wacky ways of building morale among staff, but getting the deputy chairman to sit behind a chair naked a la Christine Keeler must be a first.

Diary has got its - admittedly now slightly sweaty - hands on a promo video from Grey that sees the agency trying to (quite literally) sex up its fuddy-duddy image.

When the camera asks a male employee what he's thinking about, he shoots a lingering look at the camera, before the action cuts to a sexy Nicola Mendelsohn, sitting behind a chair, resplendent in knee-length black boots, a new haircut ... and nothing else!

Diary thinks this particular male employee is clearly a man who knows how to ingratiate himself with the boss.

9. Russell Ramsey exiting his own leaving do at ten o'clock

As Russell Ramsey prepares to leave Bartle Bogle Hegarty to join JWT as its executive creative director, the agency decided to throw him an extra-special leaving do.

After an intense brainstorming session, during which the BBH senior management team tried to come up with a party that would really appeal to the South Shields-born creative (who grew up without an indoor toilet, for what it's worth), they settled on a good old-fashioned pub-crawl for 150 people.

However, the guest of honour was obviously not quite as prepared for the booze as the guests, because, by 10pm, he was being helped into a cab to go home.

10. Hairy situation for Haines proves a real close shave

Throughout his many years in the ad industry, and in his many guises heading up industry bodies, Bruce Haines has been asked to do many things, including participating in a host of interviews and question panels.

However, he may feel that he should be a little choosier in future after he had a bit of a torrid time with a rather militant female comedienne who interviewed him for an as-yet-unnamed documentary about body hair - female body hair, and its removal, to be precise.

For some reason, the researchers on the programme decided that Haines would be the ideal person to defend the Western practice of females shaving their body hair, so he was pitted against a fast-talking interviewer who staunchly believed women should not have to get rid of their body hair in order to look beautiful.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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