DIARY: Cheery reassurances land cdp-travissully's North in tobacco row

It's a rare honour to have your bon mots adopted as the title of a report presented to a Commons committee. So congrats to Simon North who has the dubious distinction of having a tome of evidence submitted to MPs investigating tobacco advertising under the title: Keep smiling. No-one's going to die.

The title is drawn from a cheery sign-off by North, the managing director of cdp-travissully, to the agency's Gallaher client.

However, Professor Gerard Hastings, the director of the centre for tobacco research at the University of Strathclyde, who collated the collection of communications between tobacco manufacturers and their agencies, couldn't raise a smile of his own.

"These people are having fun, making money and show absolutely no concern for the consequences of their actions," he fumed.

North is philosophical about this claim to fame. "I suppose it will be my epitaph," he laments.

His only beef is that his words were taken out of context. "There was a cock-up at the client's end," he recalls. "We had to shift a shoot and I was just trying to reassure a junior product manager who was getting worried."

Peter Travis, the cdp-travissully chief executive, thinks North will be OK. "Simon is one of the most cheerful and optimistic people I know," he says. "I'm sure he'll cope with his moment of fame."

Maybe a fag would help.