DIARY: Marketing and media still push the boat out and labour over lunch

For those of you in advertising who think you've got it pretty good, think again. You've got it bloody fantastic!

Apparently, even in today's constantly-bleated-on-about-oh-my-God-isn't- it-tedious-poor-economic-climate-recessionary-slowdown, marketing and media professionals are still the biggest spenders and drinkers when it comes to lunching on their company's time.

According to a new study by that famous research company, erm, PizzaExpress, 45 per cent of new business is won each year thanks to networking, which makes the business lunch still an absolute necessity.

The survey reveals that two-thirds of marketers are ignorant of dining etiquette (you should all be ashamed of yourselves, you grubby little oiks) and that 39 per cent of you admit to flirting over a meal.

What's more, a third of you even admit to talking about sex over lunch (we must be dining with the wrong people).

However, today's networkers have ambitions beyond a regular table at The Ivy. Apparently, nearly a quarter of marketers say they like to tie things up on the golf course, while 5 per cent say they've visited a lap-dancing club for business purposes.

It's a good life isn't it? Some of you ad people (and perhaps some journalists too) should occasionally note how you'd miss corporate hospitality if you found yourself working in a call centre or sprinkling sawdust on to sick at a train station.

And as you tuck into your roasted swan stuffed with widgeon, spare a thought for a place where people have so little money that they can barely afford to eat at all. We are, of course, talking about the Interpublic Group.

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