Those of you who went to the Advertising Association’s summer
seminar last Thursday will have noticed that the venue - which,
traditionally, has been Peterhouse in Cambridge - was switched to the
neighbouring Clare College.
This is all down to a squabble between the Peterhouse guvnors and the
You see, last year, when the seminar came around the weather was
behaving itself and July was actually summer. Taking advantage of the
sun, as they have done every year without repercussions, some delegates
strolled out of the conference room on to a piece of grass during lunch
and coffee breaks.
Then, a rather haughty Peterhouse academic decided he wanted to hold an
impromptu tutorial on the aforementioned piece of grass, rather
ironically titled ’fellows’ lawn’.
Because the presence of the seminar delegates made this impossible, the
academic grumbled to the college big-wigs who, rather faint-heartededly
if you ask us, backed down and banned the nice AA people from the
The petty squabble irritated Andrew Brown, the director-general of the
AA, so much that he moved the seminar to Clare College.
He said: ’We’ve used these facilities for 18 years and paid a lot of
money for them. Peterhouse is entitled to take whatever decision it
wishes but this seemed a bit barmy. It’s a prime example of academia
saying it wants public money and then acting like King Canute.’
We also think it’s a bit cheeky of Peterhouse to take the AA’s money for
18 years and then chuck them off the grass as soon as a bit of sun comes
out. It wouldn’t be so galling if it hadn’t happened in the summer
recess when the academics had even less right to be there than the AA