DIARY: Manning Gottlieb and Optimedia show signs of desperation for AA

Media agency rivalries reached breakdown point on the recent AA pitch as Manning Gottlieb OMD and Optimedia fought a battle trying to impress the prospective client with their version of ambient activity.

Manning Gottlieb's pitch team decided to place some spoof AA roadsigns directing the AA marketers to its "AA Media Service Centre" just off Wigmore Street.

But they reckoned without the eagle-eye of Greg Grimmer, the executive director of its neighbours Optimedia, who attempted to scupper Manning Gottlieb's touch on behalf of the sister agency Zenith Media, which was pitching against Manning Gottlieb.

In a bid to hijack the stunt Grimmer put up his own signs over theirs, linking the pitch location to Zenith's Paddington HQ.

Nick Manning, Manning Gottlieb's chief executive, claims Grimmer's stunt backfired, however.

"While the client was here, Greg Grimmer spotted these signs and decided to put up his own, rather jiffy, version pointing to Paddington. But during the presentation we took the signs down so the client wouldn't have seen his," he says.

But Grimmer still maintains his covert operation was successful in its own way. "They still had to take their signs down," he adds.