Diary: Jo jibe a fitting end to an annus horribilis for DMA

As we go into 2005, the Direct Marketing Association will surely be looking to its members to improve its image and their behaviour.

After DM scooped the dubious top honour in the BBC's Brassed Off Britain poll, you'd have thought the industry would have been pulling out all the stops to make amends. However, looking back over the past 12 months, nothing could be further from the truth.

First comes an unsatisfying end to the long-running saga of the two direct marketers who had a punch-up at the 2003 DMA Awards. Shaun Crawford, of the packaging company DMS, was acquitted after a key witness failed to turn up, leaving the taxpayer to foot the estimated £60,000 bill for the trial. But it doesn't end there. Fast-forward 12 months to the most recent DMA Awards, and there was further cause for alarm.

The MC was Jo Brand, who spent a large amount of time poking fun at the industry. At the end of the night, Brand referred to one nameless man from the Grand Prix-winning agency Harrison Troughton Wunderman, who had called her a "cunt" as he accepted a trophy. Brand responded, along the lines she would have sat on his face but she didn't have her period that day.

The irony of Sir Martin Sorrell, the boss of HTW's parent, WPP, commenting during the awards from video clips on a backdrop behind the presenter was not lost on Diary either.