DIARY: Maureen Duffy makes herself the (extremely close up) face of NMA

The newspaper industry was desperate; it needed a saviour, somebody to convince 21st-century advertisers that inky black-and-white bits of frayed paper are a better medium than colourful, shiny TV screens.

Therefore, many in the business were delighted when Maureen Duffy, a tough cookie and erstwhile daytime controller at ITV, was selected to head their new trade body, the Newspaper Marketing Agency.

But while Duffy is at the NMA to promote the newspaper industry to advertisers, we've recently been left with the distinct impression that she's also in the business of promoting Maureen Duffy to advertisers.

Take her business cards, for example. The whole of one side of the card is filled with a scary facial close-up of Duffy with a tiny NMA logo in the bottom corner. On the reverse we see her name and contact details in bold letters.

The effect resembles a Soho call girl's card given the Andy Warhol treatment.

In fact, we were surprised not to find them stacked up in phone booths around the NMA's plush Berkeley Square offices in a bid to lure passing trade into spending with the nationals. The main fear though is that Duffy may spark similar self-promotional activity from boot-faced rivals at the Radio Advertising Bureau and Outdoor Advertising Association, leading to a card collection scarier than Mystic Meg's tarot pack.

- Got a Diary story? E-mail campaign@haynet.com or post it to Diary editor, Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6.

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