Media Bitch

Loose talk

It's time for special Christmas wishes and Channel 4 is no doubt enjoying being flooded with messages of goodwill from media agencies after its decision to put its prices up by 5% for next year.

Judging by the reaction from agencies so far, even the legendary Matt Shreeve (C4 head of agency sales) is going to have his work cut out with negotiations this time. But when it comes to scary negotiators, Bitch reckons there is only one winner, at least judging by the GroupM website.

Step forward managing director of broadcast trading, Mark Collins, pictured in the official website introduction, looking like he truly comes from the Addams family rather than Steve Allan's. Collins cites his favourite film as that classic weepy, the Shawshank Redemption, proving some traders do have a heart, although most sales bosses would probably be tempted to build a bloody great hole in the wall with their nail file to escape him.

Speaking of builders and GroupM, Bitch can report considerable panic at its lofty HQ in Holborn, not over the usual business of a big pitch but whether the building will be ready for the arrival of staff from MediaCom, who are supposed to be moving office to join their happy cousins this week.

Currently, the place looks like the proverbial bomb has hit it, but if anyone can scare the shit out of the builders in time, it's liable to be Sir Martin Sorrell. MEDIA CELEBS NEED A DATE TO GET IN THERE

Top marks go to ITV's press office for the party invite of the year (pictured right), which popped into Bitch's inbox last week, much to her amusement.

When you have had such a highly entertaining and successful show such as I'm a Fading Celebrity ... Get me in There and created a small screen legend out of David Gest, you should milk it for all its worth.

Next time though, remember to put the date in it, guys.

XMAS EXTRAVAGANZA WAS A REAL CRACKER

The festive season got off to a bigger bang than usual, thanks to IDS and UKTV's heart-warmingly named Christmas Extravaganza Network Event.

The sales house sent a six-foot cracker to each of its top agencies (so if you haven't got one guys, you know what that means), although sadly we are not talking about the Gisele Bundchen variety.

Each day, someone from the agency will have their name pulled from the cracker, with a chance to win an iPod, a one-hour Thai massage (when normally five minutes is enough) or a magnum of Belvedere Vodka, as if more was needed at this time of year.

Thelondonpaper, however, opted for one for the ladies, turning Father Christmas's traditional red ensemble into the paper's now trademark purple.

Throughout the month, the freebie has been giving Londoners the chance to win prizes by texting in when they spot the poor unfortunate soul around town, although if the weather does get cold it could be the people trying to give away the paper who turn most purple.

CALENDAR GUYS EMERGE FROM MEDIA-OCRITY

Hold onto your underwear, ladies, the results of the Galaxy manhunt are out. Twelve talented guys have been plucked from agency obscurity - you could say media-ocrity - and held up as the top pieces of eye-candy.

The lucky ladies at Carat have the most visual treats to behold, with Kieren Mills, James Schad, Justin Barnes and Glenn Davis.

Other high-scorers include OMD's Mark Evans; M2M's John Scott and Iain Christie; Starcom's Duncan Child; Vizeum's Ollie Jones; MindShare's Alex Wilson; Mediaedge:cia's Andy Mahoney and Chrysalis Radio's Alex Wright.

That's one for each month - we are all looking forward to the calendar (lamentably not naked), which is due out before Christmas. TIME BANDIT - Justin Stark

Head of impact, Viacom Outdoor

30%

Strategising. The Impact team has grown revenues by more than 1,000% over the last five years and, with such fast-paced growth, the need to constantly develop our product offering, working practices and customer service is always front of mind. It's really exciting working in such a dynamic environment and no two days are ever the same.

30%

Trying to be useful and inspiring. I frequently find myself marvelling at the creative talent of those around me. For us, creativity is all about original thinking and when we produce something truly original, which works well for a client, it's tremendously satisfying. The pleasure is all the greater in the knowledge that the team delivers its ideas within some very challenging environments.

20%

Getting over-excited about the benefits of outdoor and trading with clients. Working in a medium that's still turning in a healthy growth rate is a great place to be. Part of that success is down to the sheer diversity and staggering level of innovation it has to offer.

15%

Reading and writing e-mails. I sometimes wonder how we ever functioned before e-mail and then wish to be time-warped back there. We should talk more; I reckon it's more efficient and interesting.

5%

Quality time with colleagues. I'm blessed with some great friends at work, so I regularly do the rounds so they can remind me of all the foolish things I've said and done ... quite a lot, as it turns out.

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