DIARY: Isobel may have same name as a twister, but it is no tongue-twister

It would seem an explanation is needed. Last week, Campaign accused Isobel, the venture launched by the ex-Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB management team, of being the most inappropriately named start-up ever.

Unfortunately, this had the guys scratching their heads. What, they wondered, was so inappropriate about their name?

Perhaps the boys have been working a wee bit too late to have caught any TV, radio or newspaper reports, but throughout September there has been the small matter of Hurricane Isabel, which has wrought havoc across the east coast of America.

Admittedly, it could have been much worse - had they called it Sars & Partners, we'd have had real grounds for complaint.

To be fair to them, the actual story behind the naming of the agency is really rather sweet. Apparently, three of the four founding partners have daughters with an Isobel in their name.

Partner Paul Holding pointed out that had the four founders put their own names above the door, the agency's moniker would have been a bit of a mouthful. Well, while Alexander Fletcher Hastings Houlding certainly isn't snappy, it is by no means the worst name this industry has spawned.

There's been many an occasion where ego has blinded start-up founders to the fact that they have surnames that don't belong on headed notepaper.

The best recent example of this is the integrated start-up Davison Smiley-Jones Snoxell Wass. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

This is nothing compared with the Euro RSCG's New York office, or Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro RSCG as it's otherwise known.

You can bet there's many a receptionist there who has wished its founders had daughters called Isobel.

- Got a Diary story? E-mail campaign@haynet.com or post it to Diary editor, Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6.


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