Media Bitch

LOOSE TALK

Engagement is the buzz word of the week, with TV marketing body Thinkbox, freebie train fodder Metro and Carlton Screen Advertising all making a claim to be the best at it. Thinkbox, which holds its new and improved Thinkbox Experience event today, looks favourite to win, if only because research director David Brennan has still managed to bring a bit of glamour to the job.

An inspired idea, Bitch thinks, to introduce the potentially testing subject of neuro-science in a face-to-face interview between Brennan and dishy newsreader Kirsty Young. Thinkbox argues that neuro-science is becoming mainstream.

In another step in this direction, Doug Read and Steve Auckland, the top brains at Metro, hired their boyhood hero Johnny Ball last week to present its "Science of Engagement" report, claiming there was far more activity in some areas of the brain in the mornings compared to evenings.

Ball made a stream of filthy jokes which smashed Bitch's image of the Think of a Number legend and father of Fatboy Slim's wife Zoe.

Carlton's effort, entitled aptly "spot the difference", also makes claims on cinema's ability to engage like no other medium and is most notable because it looks identical to Metro's offering.

TESS'S GIG HAS SOME HARD ACTS TO FOLLOW

"Roundhouse is now a home fit for legends" declared a story in the Camden Gazette last year, as it welcomed a revamp of the legendary north London rock venue.

Lest we forget, this is the place where The Doors played their only British gig, where Led Zeppelin made their London debut, and where Motorhead played their first ever concert.

It is the venue that caused controversy with the first all-black production of Alice in Wonderland and a programme of revolutionary films on Cuba and Vietnam in the 70s.

As the Gazette puts it, The Roundhouse became famous as having a reputation as "a centre for drug culture" and hosting "cutting-edge theatre". Let's just hope Tess Alps' Thinkbox Experience 2 today lives up to its billing.

BEAR NECESSITIES SHAKE UP TEDDY TITLES

Bitch was interested to see that it has been a week of shocks in the magazine sector. Teddy Bear Times has merged with Teddy Bear Club International Magazine in the same week as Dolls House and Miniature Scene has incorporated Dolls House Projects.

Surely there's been nothing quite as seismic as this since the demise of My First Thomas.

Not that in any way this is meant to belittle Teddy Bear Club International, which Bitch is delighted to see boasts its own IPTV channel.

There's not a lot of mags that can say that now, are there?

LIGHT IN THE SKIES SPOOKS THE SPOOKS

If the Gaydar Radio fifth birthday party had gone ahead without at least one man in uniform putting in an appearance, questions would surely have been asked, so thank heaven for an over-enthusiastic promotional tool.

The event last week at Area in Vauxhall started as it meant to go on, after the local coppers put in an appearance to have a quiet word about the searchlight beam that was sweeping across the skies outside, designed to show partygoers where the action was happening.

With the club hidden under a railway arch, the light was considered a good idea to guide revellers inside.

What organisers didn't realise was that the strong beam would upset the neighbours - MI5.

Security alarms outside the intelligence service offices (which are slap-bang on the river bank by Vauxhall Bridge, as any terrorist worth his salt knows) were triggered by the lights, causing havoc for the boys in blue.

However, all was resolved before guests started to arrive, although history does not relate whether the boys stayed for a sly Slippery Nipple or two.

EVEN DEBT COLLECTING GETS WEB TREATMENT

Bitch received an e-mail message in her inbox the other day, entitled "overdue account collection".

Much to her relief, rather than some personal debt from too much of the media highlife, this was in fact a press release from the Brookes Bates partnership, "celebrating 20 years of recovering UK & international debts".

So now even debt collectors are using the internet as a branding tool. Warms the heart doesn't it?

TIME BANDIT - Lucy Stafford, Media director, Tri-Direct (brand response agency)

30% - Meetings. Client, new business, media owner, internal, external, DMA and PR. I even have meetings with myself to keep track of all my meetings. 30% Reading, writing and talking about anything and everything strategy and media related, using as much jargon as I can. Being a multi-tasker, I do all three simultaneously.

- 13% Admin. The less said about this the better. 10% General management (including major decisions such as how many teaspoons to buy for the office).

- 10% Travelling, either extremely quickly in my sports car or painfully slowly courtesy of our railways.

5% - Innovating - sitting in my office mastering the art of looking deep in thought while planning what I am going to have to eat, when I can next get down the gym and what "present" my cats will have left on my pillow.

2% Play - in moments of madness and high stress in the office, we all down tools and throw soft toy fish around the office.

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