Diary: On the QT ...

Rupert Howell, the McCann Erickson chairman, is cursing the awful timing of getting stuck in an agency lift with Abbey chiefs who had come for a creds presentation. Twenty minutes, to be precise. "Five minutes is mildly embarrassing. An hour would have been a bonding experience and I would have had time to do the full pitch," he laments.

McCann failed to make the shortlist ... A touching reunion for Jim Marshall, the chairman of the IPA media futures group and unlikely donkey benefactor, who turned 50 last week. As Starcom staff gathered to celebrate, Marshall was joined on stage by one of his beloved beasts ... Obviously, the pay at Publicis isn't all it's cracked up to be. Diary spotted Adam Keane, one of the agency's creative directors, vying for the hotseat on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. Sadly, though, he failed to win through the preliminary round ... As the story behind the demise of Boymeetsgirl begins to unfold, anecdotes of life at the agency abound. Take the lifestyle of its co-founder Andy Law. As the agency's fortunes took a turn for the worse, Law made off for the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Levy, Bill Gates and Richard Gere clearly helped him forget the chaos at his agency ...

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