DIARY: Bordeaux business is vin de gaffe generator for Altman's anecdote

Sometimes when wires get crossed there comes the kind of inevitable confusion that just makes for an amusing anecdote to relate at the right occasion.

So thought Alex Altman, the managing director of Carat Business, recently when he was talking at a PPA business-to-business sales conference about the passion and enthusiasm of the business magazine sector.

Altman, who used to work on the Vin de Bordeaux media planning and buying account, advertising wine to consumers, fondly recalled an amusing anecdote which had first tickled his fancy some time back.

A few years ago, when he was just getting on with minding his own business at the office one day, Altman received a telephone call out of the blue from a woman working as a business-to-business magazine sales rep with a rather odd request.

The lady in question, after exchanging pleasantries with Altman, asked him if the company would like to advertise its Vin de Bordeaux client in, er, a van feature targeting small businesses.

"I kept a straight face and said, 'No, I don't think so.' I wanted to spare her blushes but it provided a bit of entertainment for us." Altman, evidently, is still tickled by the faux pas.