DIARY: Virgin encourages a bout of 'good bloke' behaviour in admen

Isn't it heartwarming to see money being put to good use in these

cash-strapped times? While businesses all over town are awash with the

thunderous sound of buttons popping as belts are tightened, one client,

it seems, has its priorities in a different area.

In a bid to "live and breathe" the Virgin Mobile brand, the client in

question invited two lucky creatives, Rik Brimm and Greg Mitchell, from

its agency, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, to a week-long stay in the

uber-cool - not to mention pricey - Sanderson Hotel.

Why? Well you might ask. While the lads were reposing in the lap of

luxury, the idea was to get them to complete a variety of different

exercises in a bid to help them expand their minds and creativity

towards Virgin Mobile. Hmm.

With the questionable idea that their creative juices would miraculously

flow more fluently there rather than in their normal working

environment, the lads started their week by giving a 15-minute recorded

interview expressing their views and feelings toward Virgin Mobile. They

were also given £70 in cash with which to buy items befitting the

brand's values.

Still, it wasn't all shopping and lunching. No, the boys also had to

work in the stores, phone a couple of "real" Virgin Mobile customers and

write a poem in the time it took the London Eye to do one revolution.

Very deep. And the list goes on. "I think it's important for you to

explore what it means to be a good bloke," the brief purrs at one


"Please can you video each other and talk about when you have been good

blokes and describe when you have met good blokes." And following this

strenuous morning of activity, it was off to J Sheekey for lunch.

Honestly, we ask you.

Exactly what the lads have learned from this experience is not revealed,

but it could have involved how to be liggers and bullshitters - which,

perhaps in adland, are perfect qualities for the job.