DIARY: Pony-tail pranks, pool plunges and plenty of pissheads: it's Cannes

As the ad industry gravitated once more to the sunny beaches of the Mediterranean, the worldwide recession had absolutely no effect on the levels of bad behaviour in Cannes 2002.

Just ask Joe Pytka, who is rumoured to be considering a haircut at long last. Unfortunately for Pytka, well known for his fiery temperament, Saatchi & Saatchi's cheeky Michael Long was bet 500 euros by Academy's Lizie Gower to pull said shabby barnet. Long, never one to decline a challenge, rushed over to Pytka, put his hair into a pony-tail and yanked up - hard. Pykta, completely floored by such impudence, turned to face Long - who was fully prepared. "I pretended that I was from Leo Burnett and that we'd shot a commercial together - and he pretended to know me. He said: 'Yeah, I remember you.' It was hilarious, Long laughs.

But if Pytka had a sore head, take a look at the photographer Keith Shillitoe's bottom. Several vodkas into an afternoon by a villa swimming pool, Shillitoe decided to leap from the balcony into the water - only he missed. "I landed on my buttock straight on the corner of the pool. I got out, fell unconscious and then threw up, the clearly mad man said.

But his wasn't the only pool injury. TBWA/London's chief executive Garry Lace's golfing break was rudely interrupted when a vengeful hack pushed him into Mark Wnek's swimming pool. Poor old Lace's head cracked open - but luckily Mark Jarvis, a former paratrooper and Wnek's personal trainer, was on hand to administer first aid. Only Jarvis had had a few and trussed Lace up like an Egyptian mummy.

The industry's keenness to get stuck in to the Cannes craziness might have been disrupted by the French airstrike on Wednesday, but Herve Brossard, DDB's head of Europe, was undeterred by such tedium. Brossard phoned up his old mucker Bernard Brochand, the mayor of Cannes, who sent his diplomatic car to Marseilles to pick the DDB posse up for a 180km/hr race along the highway.

It was a sterling year for Saatchi & Saatchi London and you rarely saw its creative director, Dave Droga, without a celebratory drink in his hand. The newly lean yogaholic was not as hardy as he thought, however.

His all-night drinking session before the England versus Brazil match meant that just as the whistle blew for kick off, he passed out.

The UK may have had a great haul of gold Lions but the performance of the UK film judges lacked similar finesse. Mother's Mark Waites was so hoarse he was unable to respond to questions in the film press conference, while MCBD's Paul Briginshaw was distracted by the embarrassing sound of the William Tell Overture blaring out of his mobile phone.

Simon Clemmow, Johnny Hornby and Charles Inge, newly enriched by their Heineken win, were spotted in Cannes harbour lounging around on their yacht. Later, while dining at the Eden Roc with Lace, Wnek, Carphone Warehouse's Charles Dunstone and others, the crew spotted the Viacom boss, Sumner Redstone, on a nearby table. After falling over themselves to find a way to politely introduce themselves to the influential man of media, the diners were upstaged by Hornby - who had spotted Redstone laughing at his Eden Roc-issue jacket and used it as a conversation opener. Once an account man, always an account man.

The party of the year was DDB's beach-front extravaganza, but the naked cycling antics at the RSA villa proved popular once again. See you next year.


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