Media Bitch

LOOSE TALK Yes, all right, it's not until next Wednesday, but the big question this week for all you romantics out there is, of course, which party to go to, to avoid spending Valentine's Day with your other half.

Many of meeja's A-listers will no doubt be heading for one of Bitch's favourite haunts, Claridge's, where one of the darlings of the magazine industry, Tyler Brule (pictured), is holding court at a no-expense-spared bash to celebrate the launch of his not-at- all pretentiously named magazine, Monocle.

Brule (not his real name) or Roof, as he is known to his mates, is bound to attract the creme de la creme, although they will probably be left with only one eye open by the end of the night.

Those who fancy mutineering will find alternative fare at the glamour of The Brits, albeit at the slightly less uppercrust Earl's Court, where performers will include Amy Winehouse - herself a former student of the famous Brit School in the even more upmarket Selhurst. The Scissor Sisters and Lily Allen - if she turns up - will also be there.

But the real A-listers will surely be the usual raucous party from ITV, whose line-up threatens to include commercial boss Ian McCulloch, ITV's glamorous queen of spin, Brigitte Trafford, Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards and Starcom chief exec Linda Smith, who despite her Essex roots has promised not to dance around her handbag wearing white stilettos.

If neither of these bashes takes your fancy, Bitch hears there is a race meeting at Lingfield's all weather track, without a monocle in site - unless John McCririck turns up, of course.

PIRATE COPIES ARE NOT THE STAR ATTRACTION

The Brits have been conquering all before them on the red carpet of late, with our film stars in line for a barrel-load of gongs big enough to sink a ship. But there are certainly going to be no prizes for the UK cinema advertising industry when it comes to the actors they have been employing in recent weeks.

Two weeks ago, we brought you Carlton Screen Advertising's Sly Stallone "lookalike", who made the ageing Rocky star look like a spring chicken.

However, Bitch reckons Carlton and fellow sales operation, Pearl & Dean, (or should that be the Black Pearl?) have excelled themselves this time in a travelling roadshow to promote the summer release of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Poor old Bruce McGowan, head of cinema at ZenithOptimedia (pictured), must surely have been convinced that this was THE Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley come to shiver his timbers on behalf of the Cinema Advertising Association.

THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LOVE ON AN ESCALATOR

There's nothing particularly romantic about London Underground's escalators.

Normally it's more a case of trying to ensure you survive in one piece without being trampled to death. But all that's set to change this year, courtesy of the good folks at CBS Outdoor, who are running a Valentine's Day competition seeking the most witty "lurve" messages for its fancy new digital escalator panels on the Tube.

The best 10 will be beamed onto Tube escalators with one space reserved for the best message from an agency bod.

Not only will the agency person and the object of their affections see their message up in lights, but CBS Outdoor will send their beau, or belle, a big bunch of flowers on their behalf.

Enter your messages and pics via www.tubevalentine.com, text 62277 "love" and then the message, by 11 February, remembering to add your agency name at the end of the message. Texts cost 25p, with all money raised going toThe British Heart Foundation.

TIME BANDIT - MARTIN CORKE, DIRECTOR, ASSOCIATED NORTHCLIFFE DIGITAL - AD NETWORK

30% - I spend more and more time putting together job descriptions, talking to recruitment consultants and inter-viewing candidates. There's an increasing demand from clients for cross-media solutions, which means my team's expanding. Getting the right talent mix is my number one priority.

20% - Getting to grips with our expanding advertising inventory, making sure we're delivering for our clients and reviewing campaigns to ensure we consistently get them into the right places at the right time.

20% - I'm embarrassed to admit I've been spending a lot of time and energy wrestling with our new booking system. It offers real-time availability and seamlessly links bookings and invoices. The rest of the team seems to have grasped how it works, but I'm lagging behind.

15% - I put aside at least 30 minutes every day to play around on the web. I think it's important time to research new offerings and products and grab the best ideas. There's always something new in the US we can learn from.

15% - I lunch with clients about twice a week. Nothing replaces face-to-face inter-action for building relationships and getting a better understanding of what clients need and want.

0% - Going to the gym. Aaah, so much for New Year's resolutions.

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