Richard Pinder, Ogilvy & Mather’s managing director, had a more
exciting New Year’s Eve than he bargained for when he almost blew up the
agency’s speed boat, H2O&M, and narrowly avoided wiping out some of
London’s top advertising talent.
Pinder had assembled some of adland’s finest, including CDP’s Chris
MacLeod and FCA’s Sam Smith, to view the end-of-year fireworks
extravaganza on the Thames. Forget that this was the eve of the
millennium - Pinder intended to shmooze.
As midnight drew near, the Alan Partridgesque Pinder, a keen seaman,
decided to ’weigh anchor’ and strap the agency boat to a handy fuel
As the fireworks flew and sparks fell around them and the oil-filled
tanker, Pinder and his chums began to fear for their lives. Undeterred,
Pinder still managed to capture the moment on film.
’I’ll be frank, it was a hairy situation and I had to get another glass
of champagne down me,’ a nervous Smith said.
Pinder’s panic increased as he dodged the embers, for he knew that O&M’s
chairman, Paul Simons, had not agreed to the sorry escapade. Sod the
safety of his passengers, how was he going to talk his way out of this