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Diary: On the QT ..

Partygoers helping Jonathan Burley celebrate his 40th birthday this weekend will need to be made of tough stuff.

Leo Burnett's executive creative director is holding the bash at Bradley House, a 300-year-old country retreat in the heart of rural Wiltshire. Sounds posh, but Burley warns it may get "nipple-hardeningly cold" and that guests should bring their own "bum cleaner" ...

As the Champagne began loosening tongues at last week's IPA president's reception, so did speculation about who might succeed Baroness Peta Buscombe as the Advertising Association's chief executive. Buscombe, soon to become the chair of the Press Complaints Commission, insisted she was keeping her distance from the hunt for her successor. With her high-level political connections, Buscombe, it's agreed, will be hard to replace. Some suggest Charles Kennedy, the former Liberal Democrat leader, might be worth an approach. Just remember that you read it here first ...

The furore following a new report accusing Madison Avenue of institutional racism causes one New York agency boss to recall a diversity presentation he gave to one of his clients a few years ago (no names for obvious reasons). The company in question was taking a great interest in the subject. So much so that it had invited one of America's leading race activists to join a special board investigating the issue. He lost no time in making his feelings clear about the adman's agency, which he claimed to know well. "It's like climbing Mount Everest," he thundered. "The higher you go, the whiter it gets" ...

Diary was breathless with anticipation when a little book called The A To Z Of Love dropped on its desk. Alas, the tome compiled by the veteran creatives Barry Smith and Pete Harold is no more erotic than a compilation of love-themed photographs for Valentine's Day.

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