OPINION: Stuart Elliott in America

'Twas the night before Christmas, and Mad Ave was stopped cold,
Not a creature was stirring; who'd dare be that bold?
A strange year was ending, not a moment too soon,
A twelve-month so peculiar, it left D'Arcy a ruin.
It did damage to Riney and Cordiant, too
So who could be blamed for feeling so blue?
The junior execs, the few still yet working,
Said: "A visit from St Nick we are shirking.
Why bother to hang any stockings with care,
When Santa is going to give us the air?"
At last, they were Nestle-d all Snuggle in their beds,
While visions of Sugar Pops danced in their heads
(The economy's so awful that for this one time
Our poem is sponsored; we hope the plugs rhyme.)
My dude in his Calvins, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for some of Eminem's rap,
When out in the courtyard there arose such a clatter,
I flew down the lift to see what was the matter.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature Hummer, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a Big Bertha driver, so shiny and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
Like Rapid Shave spritzing his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
"Now, Dooner! Now, Meyer! Now, Sorrell, make merry!
Now, Doner! Now, Sann! Now - hey, where's Dusenberry?"
(Santa, it seems, drew his list up last year,
Without knowing a BBDO mission was near.)
"From the Place they call Sutton to the Street they call Wall,
Now Dash away! Lux away! Daz away All!"
(Clearly this year we're so short of cash,
Our placements are even starting to clash.)
So up to the housetop the reindeer they flew,
With the sleigh full of products, and St Nicholas too.
And then, loud like the Surf, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I turned off 8 Mile, and was pouring a drink,
Down the chimney St Nick came and gave me a wink.
"I brought some cool stuff, so much better than toys,
For all the top managers, whether Jewish or goys."
As if to pitch a big client, he opened his pack,
And for a propos gifts, he sure had the knack.
Each bore a Black Label, as clear as could be,
So each could be placed under just the right tree.
For Sean Orr, an abacus that always works fine,
Six more clients like Pepsi for A Rosenshine.
For Levy, a jigsaw puzzle with only two pieces,
For Wren, a wish granted that the clamour ceases.
(Funny how much he was hurt by the Journal,
In a story without truth in even one kernel.)
For Haupt, a sign saying, "I'm Number Two; I try harder,"
For Bates' D Hearn, a fully stocked larder.
A clock that's not ticking for Foote Cone's Brendan Ryan,
For J Judge at Lowe, to be judged for a Lion.
For Donny, you know who, his own TV show,
For - "Wait," said St Nick, "it's now time to go."
Having shared so much loot, he had emptied his pack,
So not till '03 would we see him come back.
As he rose up the chimney, he gave me a nod,
And said to my dude: "Hey, you've got a nice bod."
But before we could ask if he'd seen Far From Heaven,
St Nick gave a whistle to Dooner and the rest of the seven.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"A peaceful new year and to all a good night!"

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