Anyone who’s ever been to the bi-ennial TV conference (Monte Carlo)
will be familiar with that swimming-in-a-puddle-of-shit feeling which
sets in after the first night.
Partying is, of course, a prerequisite for survival (even I couldn’t
last three days with wags like the lovely Tim Pile, Chris Locke and
Martin Bowley without artificial aid), but it also has this rather nasty
habit of playing games with your marbles.
Kelvin MacKenzie and Channel 5’s Dawn Airey squaring up to each other in
the bar is perhaps not quite so surprising, but did I imagine a similar
scenario between a leading TV salesman and a really quite big auditor?
And that sales guy from the satellite channel - did he really spend the
conference proudly displaying his bottom cleavage?
But it was the conference hall itself, decked out as it was in the sort
of array of coloured fairy lights most usually seen after you’ve been
smoking something a little stronger than Silk Cut, which was the setting
for some of the more bizarre dreams conjured up by my addled brain. Did
I really see ITV’s Marcus Plantin struggle to come up with more than
three failings of ITV? And did ITV showcase three of the most
disappointing media-owner ads I’ve ever seen as evidence of its pounds
40 million marketing blitz (mind you, they weren’t quite as sad as the
new Heinz work, which was also proudly on display).
Then there was the renewal of the rather naive slapping down of
advertisers’ calls for a rethink on station average price by some of
those salesmen keen to keep taking their money. An hallucination, no
Of course, most of the real discussions took place in the bars and were
actually rather more sensible than what happened on the conference
But then alcohol has a habit of loosening the tongue as well as warping