Media Bitch

LOOSE TALK

If your idea of fun is a busload of "brainstormed-up" media agency bods descending on your office, then IDS, GCap and JCDecaux were the places to be as PHD went on the road with its Christmas party.

New agency chief executive Morag Blazey decided to dispense with the usual routine of going to the local pub to get merrily pissed, instead splitting its staff into three teams who were sent out in 1970s disco gear on separate London buses to terrorise the trio of poor media owners with different challenges.

These included delivering a news broadcast at GCap's radio HQ, designing a phone booth ad for the outdoor giant and, most wacky of all, each coming up with a PHD song, to be judged by IDS boss James Wildman, doing his best Simon Cowell impression, and his team.

New managing director Daren Rubins (pictured) was among the PHD singers who gave it their all, belting out numbers including an agency version of Bohemian Rhapsody and murdering various tunes by Abba. Wisely, Blazey and the rest of the senior management decided to stay away from the microphone. To complete the humiliation, IDS has posted the performances on its user-generated content website, Trouble Homegrown, although Bitch suggests watching with the volume turned well down.

ADWALKERS STEP OUT ON THE ROAD TO FAME

Bitch received news from "wearable media solutions" company, Adwalker, which is delighted that it had secured an appearance on the original US version of The Apprentice.

The company's explosive rise to fame saw teams challenged to come up with the best point-of-sale use for the glorified sandwich boards. Judging by the picture the firm sent in (see right), Bitch would recommend that the wearers keep well out of the way of public transport.

GUERILLAS AND GOATS BRING FESTIVE CHEER

There are more practical jokers in the media industry than there are detox diets in January at the moment and Bitch can report on some of the "hilarious" inter-agency pranks carried out over the festive season.

For a start, the New York office of TBWA obviously has far too much time on its hands.

Using cover of darkness, armed with long-handled brushes, a bucket of wallpaper paste and a camera crew, staff carried out a spot of guerilla ambushing at the HQ of their nearby nemesis, Saatchi & Saatchi, which was in the midst of renovation.

Before you could say "hilarious practical joke", the TBWA crew had pasted a series of enormous signs across the length of the MDF boards, declaring that "You'll get a better reception at TBWA". Somehow the antics have made their way onto YouTube.

Meanwhile, the kids at All Response Media were also busy winding up their rivals.

The agency entered the Secret Santa competition that was run for media agencies by the Radio Times and decided to send a family of replica goats to competitor WWAV, from whom it recently won the Oxfam account - the charity that is infamous of course for sending the stupid animals out to eat the few remaining crops of the Third World.

Head of marketing Paul Hill bleated: "We thought that would really get their goat."

CHEESY STORIES SET TONE FOR ONLINE CONFESSIONAL

To celebrate the relaunch of FHM.com, with a new focus on the dreaded user-generated content, Emap Advertising introduced a confessions page for the media industry. The winner was a female staff member at ZenithOptimedia with a charming tale of leaving a poo on the kitchen table of a one-night stand partner.

Highly commended was a "lad" from Initiative who placed cheese slices on his copulating holiday companion, to trick him into thinking he had an STD. If this is user-generated content from media's finest, let's hope this latest fad goes down the toilet soon.

TIME BANDIT - Alison Victory, Co-founder, www.mediamumsanddads.co.uk

30% - Sourcing experts to contribute to write exclusive articles for us and offer ongoing advice to members. So far we have a nutritionist, a parent coach, education and travel experts.

30% - Sourcing deals and offers for the website. Offers past and present include designer maternity wear, cashmere, movie parties for kids, day spas, complementary therapies, ballet pumps and a contemporary mum and baby website that only ships to the UK for Media Mums & Dads.

15% - Growing our subscriber base and community of mums and dads - currently more than 20 media and advertising companies. As a not-for-profit venture, getting the support of key industry bodies is vital. NABS is very supportive.

15% - Dealing with e-mails from people asking to sign up to our fortnightly newsletter (now more than 500 subscribers), updating the website, and dealing with calls for help.

5% - Reviewing how much we have achieved so far and being grateful to those who supported us when Media Mums & Dads was just a concept.

5% - Thinking about my four-year-old son. Is he happy at school? For how much longer will he ask for left-over birthday cake for breakfast? For how much longer will I give him left-over birthday cake for breakfast?

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