Diary: Cracknell gives inside info on pitch from hell

Adland gumshoes with long memories have been having fun building up the cast of characters taking part in the pitch from hell, whose calamitous course was charted in the Financial Times magazine by Andrew Cracknell.

Cracknell spares blushes by wrapping those concerned in a cloak of anonymity.

But he lays down some thinly disguised clues to this mystery pitch (we guess it was the 1994 contest for the £10 million PowerGen account by the then Bates Dorland).

First there was the senior planner - "let's call her Diana". Actually, let's call her Diana Dobson, forced to confide to Cracknell, the executive creative director, that "I haven't got my best presentation knickers on".

The mind boggles.

This was after Cracknell and the planning director, who we assume to be Les Stern, found that the consultant member of the client team was someone they had fallen out with spectacularly when they all worked at the same agency. Only the former FCB managing director Bill Barry fits that bill.

All this before "our chairman" (Michael Bungey?) spent 20 minutes of the hour-long pitch with a creds presentation and Cracknell's own masterstroke, a raging nosebleed as he was starting his spiel.

So were we right? Cracknell will not say. Maybe we'll have to wait for the book telling the cock-ups at meetings, presentations and seminars he plans to write as a Christmas stocking-filler.


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