Media Bitch

LOOSE TALK

Bitch was pleased to hear that that legendary TV negotiator Gary Digby has got in touch with his thespian side as part of the move by the managing director of ITV Sales, soon to be ITV Customer Relations, to show the world the broadcaster's soft and cuddly side.

As part of a retraining programme, Diggers sought the help of a professional actor to help staff brush up on their presentational skills. Alas, poor Gary will probably never make a complete bard, despite his reputation.

ITV is also planning to recruit rugby stars, including England legends Martin Johnson and Jonny Wilkinson, as well as South Africa's Francois Pienaar, to appear at agency/client meetings to plug next year's Rugby World Cup. Sadly, it might be beyond the powers of any makeover to make the current England team a credible bet to win that one.

Speaking of bets, Paul Jackson, ITV director of entertainment and comedy, has been telling agencies what to stake their fortunes on for next year's programming line-up, which doesn't look like it will be wall-to-wall Love Island for some reason. Jackson told a presentation at Starcom: "If you want 400,000 viewers watching Russell Brand on C4, that's your choice." Jackson couldn't resist adding that Brand was lined up to appear on his channel too. "Then you'll have 400,000 people watching Russell Brand on ITV," retorted Starcom's director of entertainment, Chris Locke.

THERE'S NO MONKEY BUSINESS AT DENNIS

Last week, Bitch reported that Maxim's relaunch had put rival FHM in the firing line with its claim that the new look was "Funnier! Sexier! Usefuler!", a take on the latter's own mantra.

Now it looks like Dennis Publishing could have taken further inspiration from its rival with the cover girl for new digital men's magazine Monkey, which is reminiscent of the infamous 90s image of Gail Porter beamed onto the Houses of Parliament (above).

Further to this, Dennis' new product development director, James Carter, said of the launch of Monkey that it would not have to resort to the flesh-fest battles that take place between men's magazines on newsagent shelves!

Whatever happens next year in men's mags, the bottom line is that it will be an interesting year.

POOR OLD BOB KNEEDED TO BEAT PAIN BARRIER

Bitch must offer congratulations to the four-strong team from advertising-in-schools specialists Ten Nine, who completed the Henley Half Marathon to raise money for Save the Children.

Shame on Bob Strawbridge though, who, despite the fierce rivalry and being one of the younger members of the team, finished last of the four.

Strawbridge then proceeded to blame his dodgy old knee for his lacklustre performance - apparently the pain he had endured was similar to that experienced by mountain-climber Joe Simpson in Touching the Void, who climbed across a mountain with a broken leg.

Managing partner Alan Scurfield commented: "Bob would have beaten the pantomime horse, had it not broken into a canter on the run-in!"

MR NASTY SET TO TAKE ON THOSE MEN IN TIGHTS

Who needs the Sheriff of Nottingham when you've got Mr Nasty, Simon Cowell, to do your dirty work. The X Factor judge and his cronies are being lined up by ITV bosses to try to do what the dastardly sheriff has historically failed to achieve and bump off legendary hero Robin Hood.

ITV plans to schedule the show in exactly the same slot as the BBC's men-in-tights drama. Paul Jackson, ITV's director of entertainment and comedy, displaying his own Guy of Gisbourne tendencies, told agency TV buyers he wanted to "see if we can get it down under six million and kill it".

Watch out Cowell and Jackson though, Bitch has been mighty impressed with Robin's handling of his bow and the not-so-Little John could end up doing what many people dream of and snapping the miniature reality show guru in half.

TIME BANDIT

Claudette Parry, Digital Creative Media Director, Emap Advertising

30% - Selling ideas to clients. Bringing ideas to life to a captive audience is my nirvana and great ideas have to be delivered imaginatively. Innovating in the style and approach we take can make all the difference.

30% - Idea generation. Developing innovative media ideas for a range of clients is a huge part of the job. It's inspiring when you get the concept nailed and know it will deliver.

10% - Learning. Digital is moving so fast I have to spend time with suppliers, editorial, my immediate team, creative agencies and on the internet to keep up and stay ahead.

10% - Championing the medium. I'm on a mission to get people thinking more broadly about what we can offer on our digital platforms.

10% - Working with editorial, commercial and management teams. Developing new initiatives and business models that will benefit our customers.

5% - Inspiration. I love looking at great creative work in magazines, online, radio or TV, art galleries, films, books, - it helps develop better ideas.

5% - Laughing. I work with people who have a brilliant sense of humour.Shopping. It's a nightmare working in Covent Garden!

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