This week’s ISBA conference at The Troxy (aka The Poxy) in East London showed how far the trade body has gone since the days when it was only held at higher class venues such as Lords. Whether it has moved in the right direction is a different matter. Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard apparently cut a very sorry figure indeed as he dragged his suitcase along the Commercial Road like a street hawker and into the venue, a converted East End music hall – not the sort of place which he’s used to. However things improved a little once inside with normal punters forced to look on enviously as silver service gourmet grub was rushed through the crowd by waiters to VIPs who refused to make eye contact with the plebs, forced to make do with bowl food. Hopefully this will have helped to reinforce their status.
Still getting back from the depths of Limehouse was slightly easier than those who tried to get back from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week. Compounded with bad weather in the usually sunny city and even worse weather in the UK, the scene at the Barcelona El-Prat could only be described as "World War Z", according to one hapless attendee from M&C Saatchi Mobile. Hordes of exhausted convention attendees staggered lifelessly from gate to boards, hoping against hope the interminably delayed flights would finally take off.
What chance of Wunderman boss Mark Read succeeding Sir Martin Sorrell as chief executive of WPP one day? Read was seated at Sir Martin's right hand at last week's annual results presentation in the City when WPP reported lacklustre results and downgraded its profit growth target. The presentation began at 9.30am and lasted a marathon two hours and 20 minutes. So spare a thought for Group M's Irwin Gotlieb who took part by phone from California where it was 3.50am by the time Sir Martin had finished fielding questions.