DIARY: Baby boom sparks ad industry battle for title of most fertile agency

Ah, l'amour. It seems all those cold nights have prompted a baby epidemic capable of putting the worldwide toy output under pressure.

Burkitt DDB's 90 staff are now into double figures since last year. The client services director, Helen McDermott (aka 'Mother Superior' of the agency's flagship Hasbro toy account), is the latest to succumb to the craze. 'We're claiming a first,' crows chairman Hugh Burkitt breezily.

'Blow the new business league,' he adds recklessly (and unsurprisingly, considering his agency's place in it).

However, Burkitt's face fell at the news they'd been beaten by an even more virile contender. TBWA/ GGT Direct recently squeezed out no less than seven bouncing babies, and with two more on the way, the agency could well be on line to change into a creche.

'The agency had its best ever new baby and new-business performance last year,' spouts Mike Cornwell, its chief executive, somewhat predictably.

'So I'd just like the chaps to do it all over again, please.'

Burkitt, however, is clearly of another mind. 'As far as I'm concerned they're all a bloody nuisance,' he blusters of the approaching little angels.


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