Media Bitch

Dam-busting, bags, taxis, salesmen, and fat.

Dam-busting working title

Bitch had been waiting with baited breath for IPC’s big new launch last week.

After all, with a codename like Project Spitfire, surely it had to be about something as fascinating as World War II flying machines.

Of course, Spitfire turned out to be real-life weekly Pick Me Up .

And the official explanation for the Spitfire name? Well, the magazine is full of stories of triumph over tragedy, and there used to be a car called the Triumph Spitfire.

Hmmm. Nothing, Bitch is sure, to do with the fact that Pick Me Up’s rival titles are published by HBauer – which is, coincidentally, German?

Pack your bags, you’re leaving

Bitch hears tales about clients and their unreasonable demands all too often, so it’s good to hear about an agency standing up for itself for a change.

The spirit of Christmas had clearly not entered the corporate mindset at Samsonite which rang agencies three days before Christmas and asked them to turn around a pitch for new business by 7 January.

The agency, which has a number of other new business leads, politely told the would-be client thanks, but no thanks.

Still, well done OMD on the account win – they sound like a fun client to work for.

Taxing time in dreary London

It’s time for the January blues and Bitch is yearning to escape from the dreary London weather.

So, imagine her delight when the receptionist phoned to say that two yellow New York cabs had rolled up outside the office and asked for her.

Sadly they weren’t waiting to whisk her away for a glamorous weekend in Manhattan, but merely to drop off a package from ZenithOptimedia. The cabs – 1950s original Checker cabs complete with left-hand steering – are part of a campaign promoting British Airways’ special offer of £199 airfares to New York.

That’s why the salesman is a tramp

To the techno marvels of the Science Museum and Channel 4’s MediaMind Control session.

Star turn was illusionist mind reader Derren Brown, who had C4’s crumpled sales boss Andy Barnes firmly in his sights.

Brown successfully bet one MindShare research guru, Doreen Dignan, that he could guess correctly four times in a row which hand she was holding a coin in.

He told her: “It’s not a huge sum of money... obviously it’s a new suit for Andy – and a pair of shoes.”

And he was then hasty to apologise: “Sorry Andy. You were just the first person I saw... who looked like a tramp.”

Brown proved a tough act to follow for the TV station’s research manager Lucy Bristowe.

She told the audience: “Normally I just follow the strategic sales people.”

And she revealed some interesting facts the channel’s studies of semiometrie had uncovered. The kind of subconscious key words apparently associated with C4 viewers are racy things like “seduce” and “carnal”.

Whereas Five viewers’ words, she claimed, were less attractive things like “anguish” and “betrayal”.

Still, Bitch is glad she isn’t a Carlsberg drinker. Apparently their buzzwords include “war”, “interrogation” and “death”.

Fighting fat the hard way

Bitch is still trying shift the weight she picked up over Christmas, so she was surprised to hear the result of Slimming Magazine’ s inaugural Slimming Challenge – which took place before Turkey Day.

The magazine challenged the media world to take part in a slimming competition with the champion dieters in line to win £1,000 of Harvey Nichols vouchers.

The four-woman team from StarcomMotive proved the best salad crunchers in media, losing 4% of their body weight.

Sadly, teams from other agencies –MediaCom, Initiative, Starcom, Mediaedge:cia and ZenithOptimedia – couldn’t seem to lay off the mince pies and mulled wine.


Set by Amanda Cater, account director, TotalMedia

1 According to the latest TGI data, what percentage of UK adults eat a chocolate bar at least once a week?

a) 51% b) 24% c) 34%

2 Name the book that sold the most copies in the UK in 2004.

a) Eats, Shoots and Leaves b) Bridget Jones, Edge of Reason c) The Da Vinci Code

3 In which year was The Guardian founded?

a) 1821 b) 1857 c) 1902

4 Name the deepest Tube station.

a) Angel b) Bank c) Hampstead

5 Puzzler Collection magazine has an average net circulation of 217,014 according to the most recent ABC consumer magazine release. What percentage of this total is actively purchased?

a) 88.8% b) 99.9% c) 77.7%


1)a, 2) c, 3)a, 4)c, 5)b

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