DIARY: Mueller to fight stage fright as Saatchi prize

One would think there are enough things for agencies to do, what with flagging new business and the fact that the whole of Soho is currently sunning its buns on some exotic beach or other.

But the "ideas company with the culture of Nothing is Impossible", aka Saatchi & Saatchi, has spent the past few weeks immersed in the kind of high-level meetings one would expect before a major pitch.

However, the head honchos James Hall, Kevin Dundas and Dave Droga were not preparing for, ahem, a major pitch, or in fact any pitch at all, but were hunkered down in a top-secret boardroom judging an internal competition to find the Greatest Imaginable Challenge in the minds of their minions.

The prize? A rather handy £3,000 to spend on attempting the said challenge, plus two weeks off to do it.

Apart from obvious contenders such as "Retaining a Big Client", the agency was alive with the fecund whirring of creative brains, all looking for a way to wangle a two-week sojourn in Mauritius on the pretence of learning the local lingo. More than 300 people entered the competition, with the more ridiculous requests - blokes asking for their male colleagues to have breast implants - coming from, surprise surprise, Droga's madcap creatives.

The clear winner was the TV producer Laura Mueller whose challenge to be able to speak in public without fear means she's off to learn to sing and dance before appearing in a West End musical. Perhaps she could also cement her training with some tuition from Saatchis' global boss, Kevin Roberts, a man never lost for words - particularly his own.


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