Media Bitch

LOOSE TALK.

What are the biggest challenges facing media-land in January? Maybe it's motivating a sleepy team into action after the Christmas holidays? Or perhaps gearing up to smash old targets and start raking in the cash?

On the other hand, could it be slaloming down that tricky black run in record time before getting stuck into the apres-ski? No prizes for guessing right.

Last week, no fewer than 85 Aegis employees jumped at the chance for some team bonding on the slopes of La Plagne in France, where Carat's Neil Jones and Azon Howie (pictured), and Vizeum's Matt Andrews and Stuart Newman were among those who dug out their goggles and salopettes.

Unfortunately however, the trip featured no fewer than five significant injuries requiring mountainside first aid. While Carat's head of press Dominic Williams assured Bitch that "no one died or anything", Joe Rudkin, the agency's head of marketing and PR, is currently at home nursing a suspected torn ligament.

Meanwhile, by stark contrast, no-one could doubt the commitment of GCap Media's new chief executive Fru Hazlitt, who cancelled her two-week honeymoon in the Maldives for a "four-day break closer to home".

At least husband-to-be Charlie Porter, co-founder of hedge fund Thames River Capital, knows what he's letting himself in for.

VALENTINE'S MESSAGES MUST BE LITE-HEARTED

The outdoor companies have romance on the brain. Following Titan's marriage proposal on an Earlsfield billboard (Media Bitch, 8 January, page 42), Clear Channel is offering agencies the chance to post Valentine's Day messages on its Piccadilly Lite screen.

So, whether you want to use this year's leap year to propose to your man (ladies) or simply pluck up the courage to tell your long-standing crush how you feel (everyone), Clear Channel can be your Cilla Black (see clearchannel.co.uk/valentine).

Just one thing though - while Clear Channel stresses the message should be "personal", it reserves the right to "edit any offensive or unsuitable material".

Guess that rules out any heartfelt tribute to Rupert Murdoch by Richard Branson then.

IT'S ALL IN THE MIND FOR BLOWUP MEDIA STAFF

BlowUP Media's reward for hitting end-of-year sales targets was a trip to sunny Plymouth, where the team each had a two-hour session with a hypnotist.

The brief to the "very attractive" female hypnotist was to regress all the staff back to childhood - not that difficult a task, as the sessions revealed.

Keith Talbot, development director, asked for a "very, very large teddy bear" for Christmas, while Jim Friel, operations director, said he wanted a "the largest toy car in the world ever".

Good to see they start them young in outdoor.

IT WAS ONE OF GREG'S LESS GRIM TASKS

Greg Grimmer, outgoing managing director of Zed Media, is winding down in style as he hands the reins to new joint heads Paul Constantine and Kevin Murphy.

One of Grimmer's last "duties" at Zed was to pose as the letter "M" in Metro, as part of Zed's new campaign inviting Metro readers to design a new masthead for the paper (see www.metro.co.uk/pictures for the evidence).

Well, that's one way to be remembered.

HOLY COW, IT'S A GAS FOR STEAK MEDIA CLIENTS

And finally: clients are unleashing their artistic talents after digital agency Steak Media sent its favourite clients a porcelain cow to decorate as they please.

Early entries for Steak's competition - from clients including JJB Sports, John Lewis, 118 118 and British Gas - are a hippy cow, a Hollywood cow and even a miniature Damien Hirst cow, complete with glass box.

Steak Media confirmed: "People have really gone to town on this." British Gas getting creative - whatever next?

TIME BANDIT - JACK HORNER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER, FRUKT

30% - Clients and projects. Frukt has grown over the past six years from a two-man band to a team of talented ideas generators, strategists, marketers and activators. A core part of the business is building relationships and keeping clients happy. This involves delivering great ideas and using the word Facebook a lot.

30% - Idea generation. We exist thanks to our ability to take our extensive music expertise and package it up in big ideas, so developing original, exciting and innovative concepts is a big deal. We literally have to live music: to be talking to the next big thing and to be on the crest of the next scene.

15% - Admin. I tried to work with a PA, but being so tech-savvy, my Macbook runs my life and the PA had nothing to do. I've even considered having an affair with it.

15% - Playtime, music and social stuff with Frukt. There is a great vibe here - and as I still think it's appropriate to be out boozing five nights a week, it falls to me to champion this part of the business.

10% - Running a guerilla marketing campaign for the Ukrainian sandwich shop lady down the road and talking about the new food ideas she should be trying. Attempting to become a millionaire by selling rubbish on eBay (surprisingly easy) and playing Scrabulous on Facebook.

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