Diary: Little people lead to a big problem for BBH monkey

Never work with children or animals, the maxim goes; especially not, as Bartle Bogle Hegarty found, with animals that have previously been abused by midgets.

In a story that sounds too farfetched to have even a semblance of truth, BBH had hired a monkey to star in an ad for the European confectionery brand Perfetti.

Now, working with temperamental primates is no doubt tricky at the best of times, let alone when you factor in all the things that could go wrong when you discover that BBH's monkey has been tormented by midgets in his previous employment as a circus performer.

According to John O'Keeffe, the executive creative director at BBH, all was going swimmingly until the monkey was introduced to the rather short senior producer on the shoot, whereupon the startled simian started shrieking and generally freaking out.

You may be forgiven for thinking that stardom had gone to his head and the performing primate had suddenly turned prima donna. But a concerned monkey handler worriedly put his behaviour down to his past experiences with the vertically challenged and hurriedly took him back to his dressing room to calm down.

The taken-aback producer will most likely be wearing high heels at the next meeting and BBH is advised to look for a taller-than-average team if it wants to finish the shoot in peace.


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