CAMPAIGN DIARY: Porsche fan Alderson shows us all that she isn’t the retiring type

With BMW not exactly flavour of the month right now, word reaches the Diary of an intriguing way the company is attempting to reingratiate itself; managers past and present have formed a band.

With BMW not exactly flavour of the month right now, word reaches

the Diary of an intriguing way the company is attempting to reingratiate

itself; managers past and present have formed a band.



The group, which is led by Kevin Gaskell, the former UK managing

director, and includes the sales and finance directors, specialises in

60s retro music and has just played the retirement gig for Matti

Alderson, the BMW-driving director-general of the Advertising Standards

Authority.



Gaskell and Alderson are old friends. When it comes to posh cars,

Alderson can talk the brake pads off a wheel hub.



But then there’s quite a lot about the ASA’s Mystic Meg lookalike that

corrupts the image of advertising’s arbiter of what’s legal, decent and

honest.



At her goodbye bash at the Savoy, where the mercurial Alderson kissed

and photographed every guest, she lived up to her reputation as a night

owl, eschewing an offer to go clubbing but keeping a dinner party at the

Oxo Tower going until the small hours.



Even Lord Rodgers, the ASA’s chairman, seemed to enjoy himself, despite

what had started as a frosty relationship between the pair. In his

autobiography, Rodgers acknowledges that he and Alderson had ’a number

of tense encounters’ - mainly because of his hands-on style - before

peace broke out. He had failed to recognise that it wasn’t like a

Whitehall ministry. Alderson, he concedes, had a much freer hand than he

was used to. Nevertheless, he sends her on her way with a nice

bouquet.



’We settled down to a professional partnership as harmonious and

effective as any in my working life,’ he writes.



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