BACKBITE

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.

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

doubt.



Of course, most of the real discussions took place in the bars and were

actually rather more sensible than what happened on the conference

platform.



But then alcohol has a habit of loosening the tongue as well as warping

the mind.



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