THE BOOK OF LISTS: Appropriate name agency gets talent by radical means

The London advertising world was awash with rumour this week of an agency launch said to be based on a radical change from normal practice.

Instead of the time-honoured tradition of choosing founders on the basis of their skills, reputation and contacts (resulting in the well-known initials-over-the-door naming policy) the new shop, reportedly called The Appropriate Name Agency Ltd (ANAL), would choose staff solely on the basis that they had the right name for the job.

It was confirmed last night that the new agency would be chaired by Allan Rich, the former chairman of MediaCom. He said: "It's a smart idea. People start agencies because they want to be rich. I am rich by name and by fact, so I'm going to be chairman."

Rich confirmed the headhunter Gary Stolkin had been hired to find the right staff. "We're, er, stalking a number of people," he said, but refused to confirm that Camilla Honey and Archie Pitcher were being lined up to share the new-business role. However, it is believed that the Sainsbury's Bank boss, Tim Pile, has been approached for the finance director post and Chris Lamb of the Meat & Livestock Commission is being headhunted to run the staff canteen.

Rumours that clients would be solicited on the same appropriate-name basis have not been denied. Ian Belcher, the UK marketing controller of E&J Gallo Winery, and Ed Bacon, the group marketing controller of Food Brokers, are understood to have already received calls from the Honey/Pitcher posse.

People with the right name for the job, p47.

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