Media Bitch

LOOSE TALK

Soho has finally arrived in Manchester, thanks to City Gateway Media, which threw a party to celebrate its outdoor campaign for Agent Provocateur lingerie.

City Gateway decided against "conventional" giveaways at the end, treating guests such as MediaVest's Rachel Tucker, MediaVision's Jill Thomas, and Agent Provocateur's Kriss Soonik to catalogues and various unspecified "lotions". City Gateway's sales and marketing director Ian Bohn said: "It was just like at the end of a kids' party." Just with a different sort of jelly.

Meanwhile, CHI threw an X Factor party to celebrate its award-winning digital sponsorship campaign for The Carphone Warehouse around the ITV show. As befits an X Factor party, karaoke was the order of the day. But could CHI's media partners Tim Allnutt and Enyi Nwosu have their turn to shine? Not a bit of it: according to CHI's Danny Josephs, the singing was monopolised by the Argos clients, belting out "the usual karaoke nonsense" all night.

On the subject of karaoke, Virgin Radio's 15th birthday party on board "the biggest cruise ship in the world" was another tuneful occasion. Star of the show was Virgin's sponsorship director Chris Goldson (pictured), who serenaded guests with a "marvellous rendition" of Robbie Williams' Angels. However, his act was somewhat spoilt by slipping over and skidding two feet as he came off stage. Must the show go on?

TEQUILA HITS FIVE FOR SIX IN RUGBY SEVENS

Rain didn't stop play at this year's NABS Rugby 7s tournament, contested between 27 teams on a rather cold and damp Sunday in Richmond, where the boys from Five defended the title they have held for the past two years.

However, Five's reigning champions were beaten in the quarter-final by the team from direct marketing agency Tequila (pictured right), who went on to win the tournament in a "nail-biting" final against DDB London.

Both finalists were cheered on by large groups of supporters, who kept the party atmosphere going from their bases in VIP marquees.

But although two creative agencies made the final, media agencies won the runners-up awards, with MPG beating Sky Media to win the Plate and MindShare trouncing Bauer Advertising to take the Bowl. Apparently, the "attractive" cheerleaders, helpfully supplied by Ogilvy, did much to strengthen the media players' morale.

SMELLS OF SUMMER JUST DON'T LINGER IN THE RAIN

Pearl & Dean's trial session for its new "Cinescent" initiative at Leicester Square's Vue cinema went down a storm with London's media agencies.

Buyers from OMD, Carat and MG OMD were among the first to experience Pearl & Dean's new olfactory marketing strategy, where smells corresponding to the ad being shown are released into the cinema atmosphere.

The only snag was that the ad in question was for Nivea, with the smell of suncream accompanied by a tantalising image of a sunny beach. According to Pearl & Dean, attendees leaving the cinema to brave the UK's howling winds and torrential rain looked "distinctly glum".

GUESTS ENJOY HEAVENLY TIME THANKS TO METRO

Metro's ninth birthday party at the superclub Heaven in Charing Cross was a major event, with an estimated 1,000 media types dancing the night away to DJs such as Bloc Party and Annie Mac.

Agencies on the dancefloor included PHD and Starcom, who were joined by senior Metro executives such as managing director Steve Auckland, assistant managing director Karen Wall, director of distribution John Leitch, and head of marketing Abigail Slater.

The theme of the evening was - literally - a house party, with the bar decorated as a kitchen, complete with saucepans, a dining table and even a bath full of beer.

Never let it be said that Metro doesn't make its guests feel at home.

- Got any gossip? harriet.dennys@haymarket.com

TIME BANDIT - Andre Coetzee, General manager, Taxi Media

30% - Strategy. As the UK's market leader, Taxi Media has pioneered a number of developments in the market, such as GPS tracking, advanced proof of posting and digital screens in cabs.

30% - Meetings. Our industry is all about building relationships, so I spend a large part (but never enough) of my time catching up with specialists, agencies and clients, to find out what's going on in the market and to share my passion for taxis.

20% - Staff. Our people are our greatest asset, from the drivers to the fitters who can turn around a liveried cab in two to three hours, and our specialist and agency sales teams. We recruit people who have a passion for media, and I try to ensure they are rewarded for their input and performance. Our in-house design and production teams add the colourful creative inspiration to my week.

10% - Administration. Between my laptop and my BlackBerry, I am constantly reading and sending e-mails from the minute I start my daily commute. The time I spend with this necessary evil gives me back a few quality hours each day.

10% - On the road. Whether in a taxi, on the Tube, or on my daily train commute, I am constantly identifying campaigns that are running on taxis and on other outdoor formats. My weekly taxi-spotting visits to the Waterloo or Charing Cross taxi ranks have occasionally led bystanders and security to wonder what I'm up to.

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