Media Bitch

LOOSE TALK ...Off to Cyprus this week, where The Mail on Sunday held its annual sales conference, led by ad director Simon Davies.

Did I say led? Sorry, I should have said bed, which is where Davies apparently spent most of the "business"-focused break having treatments and massages.

Davies, who flew to Cyprus days after returning from the Feather Brooksbank golf trip, turned up on the first morning of the conference in his best Hugh Hefner-esque dressing gown and announced: "We're not going to be doing much work on this trip - well, I'm certainly not." Well, at least he got a good suntan.

On the subject of suntans, talk at LBC 97.3's Retail Dinner last Wednesday was of the golden glow of breakfast host Nick Ferrari (seen on the right in the picture, with Global's Richard Park).

Just hours before, Ferrari had been making his weekly guest appearance on ITV1's The Alan Titchmarsh Show, which involves a pre-show spray tan and a generous amount of time spent in make-up. So it wasn't long before Nick Button, marketing director of Red Letter Days, asked the question on everyone's lips: "Nick Ferrari, are you wearing make-up?"

Ferrari told Bitch: "If that wasn't bad enough, when I got home, my girlfriend said the make-up took years off me and would I wear it every night."


Who do you think is the UK's favourite magazine icon?

Perhaps Princess Diana, as photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue; Vivienne Westwood dressed as Margaret Thatcher on the cover of Tatler; or even David and Victoria Beckham's wedding, as covered by OK!?

The answer, surprisingly, is none of these. A PPA poll revealed that the nation's favourite cover star of the past 100 years is ... a Dalek (pictured right with Radio Times editor Gill Hudson). The PPA's Nicola Rowe described the Dalek cover as "a truly inspired reflection of the British sense of humour". Dated and robotic? Surely not.


Times are hard at B2B publisher Informa, as demonstrated by this leaked e-mail to staff, sent by chief executive Peter Rigby following the collapse of the private recent equity takeover bid.

Rigby urges his long-suffering workforce to do everything they can to "cut unnecessary cost and eliminate waste".

He orders: "Every time you leave your office, turn off the lights and all your electrical appliances at the mains."

He adds: "Just doing this ... will save us millions of pounds a year."

Bitch dreads to think what Informa's Christmas party will look like - perhaps a few rounds of Carling with Now 28 on the stereo ... in the dark?

Maybe that private equity consortium offer of £1.9bn wasn't so bad after all.


On the subject of the credit crunch, a worrying new study has revealed that the economic downturn is taking its toll on media-land's health.

People are so worried about losing their jobs - or so overstretched covering the duties of redundant colleagues - that they feel they must go to work even if they are ill.

The HSA poll found that 80% of respondents would go to work even if they were suffering from stress, and one in six would rather go to work with diarrhoea than call in sick. Talk about a rock and a hard place.

GREAT VIRAL ... Airport parking,

- Comedian Paul Kaye shows how not to park in this viral created by Flame Digital for Holiday Extras, where he plays Seamus Murphy, a rogue trader running a low budget airport car park where the customer's trust is abused. The viral launched on 17 September and has been viewed by more than 60,000 people to date.

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