Diary: MPs tell it like it is

Adam & Eve/DDB's John Lewis Christmas ad got a slating from a panel of MPs at the Advertising Association's Lead summit.

The Scottish National Party’s Hannah Bardell started it, explaining how she was contacted by a journalist who found the spot "offensive and ageist". The Conservatives’ Caroline Nokes weighed in, saying it made her "uncomfortable". Rubbing salt in the wound, Nokes added that she loved the Sainsbury’s ad, which "really packed me off to Sainsbury’s to do my Christmas shopping". You need a thick skin to work in advertising but it must have been tough for James Murphy (pictured, right), Adam & Eve/DDB’s chief executive and the AA’s chairman, who led the next panel session. Ouch.

Wrong kind of deal
Peter Barron, Google’s top spin doctor in the UK, went on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday to defend the company’s contentious £130 million payment in back taxes. Barron didn’t like Marr referring to "a deal" with HM Revenue & Customs and insisted it was "a settlement" – as if this was so much better. Google’s search engine offers the following synonyms for settlement: "Agreement, deal, arrangement, resolution, accommodation, bargain, understanding, pact." Sounds like a perfect description of how Google haggled – sorry, settled – with HMRC.

In the name of work
How fortunate that Channel 4 has a not-for-profit remit. It means that the commercial chief, Jonathan Allan, and his team were able to treat media clients to a few days’ skiing this week in St Anton, Austria. It was, of course, an important fact-finding visit to watch the filming of the broadcaster’s show The Jump (pictured, below) for a few hours and not just a chance to enjoy the white powder over several days.

Got a diary story? E-mail us at campaign.diary@haymarket.com 

Social photos of the week, 5 February, 2016

Home’s tailor-made Yorkshire puddings failed to sway Aunt Bessie’s, which appointed St Luke's to its ad account. So much for a good Home-cooked meal.

Carat hosts its annual wellness month in February. In addition to rave-ercise and floristry lessons, staff can nap in a pod that’s on loan from the beauty brand This Works.

(Belated) Congratulations to Lyndy Payne, who founded AAR in 1975, on her CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

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