CAMPAIGN DIARY: Battered and bruised after Italian job. Well, Wnek deserved to be

’I tell you what, sir,’ Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper’s Mark Wnek says in his best Paul Whitehouse, ’I’m not sure we should go. Apparently, the Italian police are beating up English fans. The Italian agency thinks we’re ab-so-lute-ly mad to go.’

’I tell you what, sir,’ Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper’s Mark Wnek says in

his best Paul Whitehouse, ’I’m not sure we should go. Apparently, the

Italian police are beating up English fans. The Italian agency thinks

we’re ab-so-lute-ly mad to go.’



Not an auspicious start to Wnek Tours’ visit to the crucial England

match in Rome. Campaign’s editor had jumped at the year’s hottest

corporate hospitality opportunity. And, to be honest, the Campaign

office thought Wnek a big girl’s blouse for suggesting it.



Of course, Mark has had experience of Wnek Tours before. Perhaps he knew

the party, including the Peugeot account director and Keith Chegwin

lookalike, Gary Lace, but not Wnek’s current and future partners, Brett

Gosper and Tiger Savage, would be staying in Fiuggi (think of Tonbridge

Wells) some 50 miles from Rome.



Perhaps he knew it would take a couple of hours to get there by coach

and that dreams of steaming pasta and Chianti would be dashed by a half-

hour turnaround period before setting off at 5.30pm for an 8.45pm kick-

off!



Wnek acquaintances will marvel at his lasting three hours (sic!)

travelling 50 miles with one fag, and that enjoyed in the charming

open-air toilet facilities by the side of the autostrada.



The terrifying crush and police violence at Gate 16 at the Stadio

Olimpico defies Diary page quips. Let’s just say the editor lost his

companions, his breath, his favourite belt and a few pounds in sweat -

but kept his ticket.



Wnek lost something more serious: his eyes. He has bad eyesight, so was

relying on messrs Hatfield and Lace to commentate for him in a Coca-Cola

ad-style scenario.



After 20 minutes of not knowing where the next baton charge was coming

from, let alone the next corner, Wnek retreated. He watched the rest of

the first half on TV in a BT van and the second on coaches with the

Italian drivers.



Perhaps Wnek didn’t fancy his own itinerary’s two hours spent studying

the stadium architecture after the final whistle, or the Carabinieri’s

parting baton charges. How the group laughed as they got back to their

hotel at 2.15am.



Belatedly remembering he was a schmoozy adman, Wnek bribed his party the

next day with prosciutto, parmesan and other goodies. It was only when

they got home that they realised the stuff was past its sell-by

date.



Just when the group thought it was over, it sat behind Stan Bowles and

Alan Hudson on the plane home, and awaited their promised on-board

routine.



Instead, the legendary duo ordered drinks and bantered with the

lads.



Come to think of it, that is their routine. Um, thanks, Mark.



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