Media Bitch

Loose talk

Competition corner this week, kicked off by TalkSport's poker night at the Loose Cannon sports bar - a gentle reminder that TalkSport is the best place for clients' money when the gaming laws come into force in September.

King of the table was Paul Golliker from Radioworks, who proved that he is blessed not only with a face for radio, but also with the best poker face in the industry, as he left the table with $1,700.

A close second was OMD UK's Ricardo Amboage, while Derran Maggs from Blue Square and Ben Wilcockson from MEC also came up trumps to take third and fourth place respectively.

Meanwhile, media puzzle fans hunted through 10 regional press websites to piece together a winning phone number in The Newspaper Society's treasure hunt. Fastest on the button was Emma Norris, Sudoku fan and Manning Gottlieb OMD senior planner, who set aside her £1,000 loot to take her lucky boyfriend to Barcelona.

Another winner is ZenithOptimedia's Kirstine Tomlin, who correctly named five different artistes singing cover versions in a RadioCentre competition. When Kirstine is back from her prize trip to see any UK artist perform anywhere in the world - potentially the Arctic Monkeys in Rio - perhaps a logical progression might be to appear on ITV1's Sing It Back?

HOUSE WINE FLOWS AT WALKER'S BIG SEND-OFF

Christine Walker's "very successful send-off" at Chiswick House was a lavish affair, even by seen-it-all media standards.

To bid farewell to Walker Media's formidable co-founder, her partner-in-crime Phil Georgiadis organised a private marquee at Soho House's House Festival, where acts included Lily Allen and Jamie Cullum.

Owing to the free champagne all night, the lobster bars and the comfortable sofas, one partygoer summed up the evening as "a very upmarket Glastonbury".

Guests who turned up in mud-splattered Wellingtons clutching a bottle of Buckfast Tonic were politely, but firmly, shown the door.

MEDIAVEST PARTYGOERS ARE VERY LEVEL-HEADED

No less opulent was MediaVest Manchester's party to celebrate the agency's turnover exceeding £200m for the first time.

Managing partners Dave Lucas and Andy Jeal began the evening on Cloud 23 - the sky-top bar in the Manchester Hilton, that is - with a drinks reception for 50.

But the main action took place at ground level, when more than 450 revellers partied in Moroccan and "ice-cold" themed rooms.

The aim of the party was to show that "media is alive and kicking outside London". If the party's belly dancers, bucking camel, white-chocolate fountain and huge tepee are any indication, MediaVest Manchester made its point in style.

TOUCH OF MANCHESTER COMES TO THE SMOKE

Another forward-thinking Manchester business is MEN Media, which transformed Starcom MediaVest Group's London offices into Manchester for a week, so that staff could "learn first-hand what the city has to offer".

Corridors were named after Manchester streets, giant photo-graphs of Mancunian icons such as The Stone Roses adorned the walls, and New Order's Peter Hook and Factory Records' Tony Wilson gave "erudite" presentations. As the city's most famous ambassador, footballer David Beckham, might have told Bitch: "You can take MEN Media out of Manchester ..."

COMPANY MAG TREATS AGENCIES TO SOME GOLD

Also doing the rounds of media agencies is Company magazine, which, in a bid to prove that its new-look August edition is more than just a pretty face, has been tempting buyers with cupcakes and copies of the latest issue.

The hook? Twelve magazines contained golden tickets, with the result that Starcom's Amanda Ayres and MediaCom's Louise Hart now have £100 to spend in Warehouse, while Mediaedge:cia's Susannah Zakarian is set to enjoy a dinner for two at top restaurant Avenue. Willy Wonka would be proud

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