DIARY: It's all a bit tutu much as Ogilvy tries to give staff a lift with dance

It's time our friends in Canary Wharf took a reality check. OgilvyOne and Ogilvy & Mather, neither having fared particularly well in the recession, have taken what can only be described as a desperate step to improve their respective performances.

Yes, believe it or not, the agencies have employed dancers to better their creative output. The scheme, backed by Arts & Business, uses dance-based training to erm ... well, it's not really clear what. Emily Moore, an Ogilvy account manager, attempts to explain: "It would be invaluable for managing partners to learn how a choreographer extracts the best performance from an expert dancer." It would indeed be invaluable. Unfortunately, Moore doesn't explain how.

It seems luckless Ogilvy staff are now going to practice their salsa moves on a Friday night and engage in discussions over the intellectual interpretations of a performance.

There will be lunchtime lectures, team outings and lessons in the bar (nicely visible location chosen so all the participants can be laughed at by their colleagues).

The programme has lofty objectives. According to the press release (we at Campaign can't believe anyone wanted this initiative publicised): "As well as improving employee interaction, Ogilvy sees the study of dance movement and audience interaction as an excellent medium for resolving difficult client issues."

Maybe Sir Martin is becoming a bit of a soft touch if he's allowing this type of horseplay to go on. What can we expect from Ogilvy next? Will it employ a team of lute- playing account men? Will all tender documents be written in the style of a 17-syllable Japanese haiku poem? Watch this space.


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