Diary: On the QT ...

Just what is Ed Meyer going to do with the sackloads of greenbacks coming his way after the sale of Grey Global Group to WPP? Besides the $51.8 million he'll receive on completion of the deal, his stock in Grey is worth more than $350 million. At 77, he acknowledges he won't live long enough to spend it all. So the bulk of his fortune is destined for good causes, with a hospital near his home in Manhattan set for a nice windfall ... Now here's a question. What have Grey London and the late Sir John Betjeman in common? Answer: A dislike of Slough. In Grey's case, this may have something to do with the town being the UK headquarters of Mars, which recently dumped the network from its global business. Soon afterwards a mocked-up version of a Mars Bar poster went up in the agency reception. "No more trips to Slough," it declared. "Pleasure you can't measure" ... Bien fait to Maurice Levy, the Publicis Groupe chairman, who has just received the Benjamin Franklin Award from the French American Foundation for his "very significant contributions to the French-American relationship".

Has everyone forgotten Levy's questioning of the impartiality of the US judicial system during his bid to scupper True North's merger with Bozell seven years ago? "I can't believe the country of free markets can be so protectionist," he fumed. How times change ... Nice to see some generosity from the director Howard Guard, who bought the redundant village church at Great Munden in Hertfordshire and turned it into an arts centre. He's now leasing it back to the community for 99 years for the annual rent of a single red rose ... It will cost Trevor Beattie a bit more to become one of the passengers on Richard Branson's first space flight, scheduled for 2008. At £100,000, the TBWA\London chairman's wallet is set for a period of weightlessness ... A waggish client has suggested a new moniker for Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, which has lost Campbell and will soon say farewell to Rainey and Kelly. Simply promote the managing partner Tony Harris and call it Roalfe Harris!

- Got a diary story? E-mail us at campaign@haynet.com or call 020 8267 4656.


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