Diary: On the QT ...

If you want to scotch rumours about your company, don't be seen in public with the very individuals at the centre of the stories.

Speculation about a future merger between Interpublic's Lowe and Draft Worldwide was fuelled somewhat when Michael Roth, the chief executive of Interpublic, was spotted at the recent Chelsea v Newcastle match chatting with not only the Unilever big cheese Simon Clift, but also Howard Draft and the ex-Lowe Worldwide chief executive Jerry Judge, who is rumoured to be rejoining his old firm ... It turns out that Bartle Bogle Hegarty's tough-nut executive creative director, John O'Keeffe, isn't as hard as you might think. Just imagine him as an angelic altar boy in Essex where he grew up ... Anyone who witnessed Carol Thatcher's interesting nocturnal habits will be amused by a story from the set of one of the old Orange cinema ads. The pint-sized star, Verne Troyer, went to relieve himself while on set. Alas, he was still miked up so the crew heard everything. Apparently, it was reminiscent of the famous Leslie Nielsen toilet scene in one of the Naked Gun films ... There are weird goings on at JWT and we don't just mean the recent management changes. A hawk has been spotted flying around the agency's courtyard. There is an explanation for this: it's to control the pigeons that have been evicted from nearby buildings that are being regenerated ... Grey London and Naked are, by all accounts, still chums, even though Grey's plans to back Naked Ambition, Naked's second string agency, never bore fruit. Grey provided eye candy for Naked's recent Manchester-themed party. The agency sent curvaceous ladies wearing T-shirts with slogans such as "Real Manchester" and "Greater Manchester" across their ample bosoms. Let's hope they didn't get vandalised like Grey's ambient campaign featuring the same straplines that ran in the city.

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