DIARY: Cracking open bubbly and heads: the night of the long prize-giving

There's nothing worse than an awards ceremony that drags on for aeons, but this year's London International Advertising Awards, held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, turned into such a long night that even blood was spilt.

The ceremony, ridiculously held on a Monday night, didn't start until 9.45pm and lasted a staggering three hours - by which time, bored creatives were firing champagne corks at the presenter Bob Garfield. 'If you don't stop, I can make this last a lot longer,' he threatened, unimpressed.

One pair of award-winning creatives, Leo Burnett's Julie Adams and Richard Connor, got so bored they sneaked off after collecting a print award for John West work - only to have to turn their taxi around and rush back to pick up the grand prize for print.

The lowest point of the evening came when the President's Choice winner went to a Canadian product called Green Cat Litter. Guests were left to stare for a whole five minutes at a huge pile of cat litter on the screen. Nice.

It all proved too much for creatives from the digital agencies Digit and Deepend, including Alex Griffin, who had clearly been pushed over the edge. By 3.30am, an alternative use was found for the awards, as one bystander observed: 'They were going at it hammer and tongs. It turned a bit nasty when one was clocked around the head with one of the awards and blood started to flow.'

The police were called but a Deepend peacemaker restored the calm and charges weren't pressed. It seems the only crime was the length of the ceremony.


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