Media Bitch

LOOSE TALK

What better way to shake off the January blues than to see the reformed Spice Girls perfom their greatest hits?

Which is exactly what Bitch did, courtesy of Yahoo!, at London's O2, where the atmosphere was "electric", according to sales head Richard Firminger.

Firminger, who has seen the show twice, as has newly installed AOL sales director Duncan George, admitted a soft spot for Emma Bunton, aka Baby Spice (pictured, front).

"Emma is my favourite Spice Girl, no question," he confessed. "She's cute. If I took her home to meet my mum, she would say I had made a good choice. If Emma is very lucky, she can come home with me tonight."

Needless to say, there was no 2 Becoming 1 for Firminger that night - the only person sharing his taxi was colleague Phil Macauley. Better luck next time.

Meanwhile, another entertainment for media-land was the online game Star Catch, created by Reader's Digest, with a top prize of £500 of Selfridges vouchers.

The game proved highly addictive - particularly for MPG's Kate Manning, who played under the name "shopaholic", and winner Adam Powell of Initiative.

If Powell was initially underwhelmed by his prize, it was because he had confused the high-end department store with high-street ladies' fashion chain Miss Selfridge. "I was going to spend all the money on my wife," he said.

UK MEDIA-LAND MIRRORS THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

As the world is gripped by US election fever, Bitch has attempted to identify some presidential candidate lookalikes in media-land.

The best she could come up with for the Central London/Soho caucuses were Michael Steckler, managing director of AOL UK, who some think bears an "uncanny" resemblance to Democrat hopeful Barack Obama, and Five chief executive Jane Lighting, a "dead ringer" for party rival Hillary Clinton - although there is a rumour that Bitch may have had one too many cocktails at Soho House when she drew up her lookalike list.

If you can do better, e-mail Media Bitch with your suggestions.

SOCIAL NETWORKS HAVE REALLY GONE TO THE DOGS

January is a quiet month for media parties - a month when there is time to explore alternative forms of entertainment, such as social networking for dogs.

Yes, you read right: the newest social network on the block is doggysnaps.com, winner of the social website category in Yahoo!'s Finds of the Year competition.

The site - which has 31,361 canine profiles and counting - allows owners to set up a home page or "kennel" for their dog, complete with pictures and descriptions of their pet's character and adventures. Facebook is, like, so 2007. Woof, woof.

IS SHE KERRY GOOD OR PAST HER BEST-BY DATE?

Kerry Katona, one of the worst brand ambassadors of all time (Media Bitch, 13 November), has come within a whisker of losing her contract as the face of supermarket chain Iceland, if recent reports are to be believed.

Give the girl a break though: despite Katona's disreputable image, the "Roast From Frozen" Christmas spot was the second-most memorable ad of 2007, with an impressive 76% recall in any given week - second only to the Sheilas' Wheels marketing.

A case of Katona's natural talent shining through regardless? Or the result of some outstanding media planning by Iceland's media agency MediaCom? You decide.

TIME BANDIT

ROGER WILLIAMS - Director of international marketing, Right Media

- 30%: Smiling. Positivity is essential - costs nothing, makes you and others feel good and is healthy for you. You can achieve so much more in a positive frame of mind and it can be catching. Ban negativity so that it doesn't drag you down.

- 25%: Thinking. No one ever admits to spending time doing this in today's action-oriented world, because it's viewed as daydreaming. I do it - it is cathartic and it is also very useful if you really want to get on.

- 25%: Listening. Yes, I do this as well and everyone should give it a try as it's a fantastic way to learn and you can never do it enough. You can understand different viewpoints, avoid mis-communication and build better relationships - both business and personal.

- 15%: Reading. Another time-waster that goes against the Protestant work ethic. Helps me develop, learn and keep up to date.

- 5%: Fruit buying. This is time well spent indeed. I have now given up on the fruit seller at Charing Cross after sharing a punnet of rotting raspberries with my colleagues, so it's the stalls of Berwick Street for me (or Marks & Spencer if I'm feeling really flush). Keeps me full and feeling saintly before tucking into a big lunch.

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