DIARY: Standard discovers a new side to old Smith

"The ad world's weekly magazine, Campaign, clearly knows more about advertising than journalism," Andrew Neil, the Evening Standard's media guru, has been telling his readers.

The subject of his chiding was our decision to rate The Times' revelation about Edwina Currie's affair with John Major as the best scoop of last year. Not much of a scoop, since it involved no investigative digging by the paper's journos, harrumphed the Scottish curmudgeon. Instead, the story was handed to it on a plate as the result of a book serialisation deal.

A semantic point, but fair enough. What a shame, though, that on the very next page, the Standard should rather whip the carpet out from under Neil by printing a story that, on closer inspection, suggests it knows more about journalism than advertising.

Either that, or the digest item recording the demise of Rapley Smith & Jones is truly revelatory. "One-time advertising wunderkind Martin Smith, a founder and former boss of the trendy Grey agency in London, has fallen on hard times," it announced.

Smith a "wunderkind"? Grey "trendy"? Does the Standard know something we don't? And since Grey was founded in 1922, perhaps Smith might like to let us know what brand of anti-ageing cream he uses.


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