DIARY: Hytner's farewell footy match grabs Publicis staff right by the balls

It's not too often that admen who have struggled up the ladder to become chairmen then decide to go back to school.

So the decision by the Publicis chairman, Richard Hytner, to return to academia to do an MSc at the London Business School warranted an unusual leaving bash.

Fittingly, the entire agency decamped to what looked like a small concrete Victorian school yard for a football tournament in an appropriate send off for an avid Manchester United fan. Hytner led his team Overpaid United - aka the Publicis management - against Underpaid City, comprising members from the rest of the hoi polloi.

Hytner, who hails from a family of compulsive overachievers including his brothers Jim, the marketing director at ITV Networks, and the theatre director Nicholas, attacked the footie pitch with appropriately competitive gusto. However, cracks in United's strategy started to show and the leadership team, which clearly should have known better, began to turn to foul play.

"Grant (Duncan, the Publicis joint chief executive) performed a Vinnie Jones manoeuvre on me, the art director Scott Sparks said incredulously.

Unfortunately no- one from the unscrupulous team was available for comment.


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