DIARY: Tight squeeze at Grey festivities when Lace invites adland's finest

If you were wondering why none of your industry chums were returning your calls last Thursday night, it was because the man with 800,000 reasons to party, Garry Lace, had squeezed most of adland into a Belgravia hot spot for Grey's annual shindig.

And squeezed is definitely the word. Partygoers were initially subjected to a crush of Knebworth proportions and the bar was reportedly six-deep all night. Grey had originally invited 700 plus one. Lucky for all, it was a school night, for had the full quotient turned out it would have spilled over into a street party.

However, the congestion was eased by the cheeky guerrilla marketing agency that positioned people outside the venue to direct revellers to its own soiree in Islington. The agency had even laid on limousines.

Although a handful of notable chief execs stubbornly refused to show up at Lace's bequest, this boozy do was still filled to the brim with advertising's finest.

Among them were a cargo-panted Ben Langdon and the AAR's Martin Jones, who unveiled his blushing bride-to-be. And, continuing his programme of being everywhere at once all of the time, Clemmow Hornby Inge's Johnny "two parties a night" Hornby arrived having been bike-taxied from a Telegraph do across town.

Grey's head of Europe, Carolyn Carter, was in attendance, keeping an eye on proceedings. Her main rival to succeed Ed Meyer, Steve Blamer, recently decided not to jump ship for FCB. Whether this was on her mind we can only guess. Carter, as you would expect, gave nothing away.

The PlayStation client, David Patton, put in an appearance, thereby making sure that the Grey cat was allowed to run amok among TBWA's pigeons.

And it was good to see that some of the many million managing partners from M&C Saatchi were in attendance. Among them was the creative head, Matt Eastwood, who famously nearly joined Grey several months ago. As Eastwood surveyed the proceedings, the words of Bullseye's Jim Bowen must have rang in his ears: "Look at what you could have won."

Eastwood was accompanied by Moray MacLennan, who was sporting a rather fancy new watch. It turns out that Moray, who prides himself on being one of adland's dashing young guns, is celebrating his 20th year in the business, and was presented with the watch by his colleague Nick Hurrell moments before the party.

Well, happy anniversary, Moray. Those chiselled features of yours will look great on a bus pass.


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