Media pubs are at the centre of a people industry

"Who drinks where?" might seem a slightly frivolous subject for an article in a business magazine, but it provides a welcome counterpoint to recent features in Media Week on such heavyweight topics as agency remuneration, procurement, out-of-home advertising business models and the recession.

Steve Barrett is editor of Media Week
Steve Barrett is editor of Media Week

It's good to vary the media diet and, after all - and especially in a recession - it's well worth remembering that media is very much a people business. Pubs such as The Dudley Arms in Paddington became synonymous with Zenith in the first decade of its existence and The Duke of York and Newman Arms are staking similar claims for the Publicis agency's modern-day planners and buyers, as is the Devonshire Arms for OMD, The Carpenters Arms for Starcom MediaVest - and, latterly, Vizeum - and The Hope for PHD. Other areas of London and media nodes throughout the country boast their own vibrant media scenes.

Media is a sociable business and is so much the better for it - we should not allow the recession to puncture the essence and lifeblood of our industry. It is within the media pubs that the fabric of agencies is renewed and philosophies are defined. It's where account wins are celebrated and unsuccessful pitches mourned. It's where contacts are made and gossip is shared - although be careful not to reveal any state secrets if you stray into a rival agency's territory and have one too many to drink.

If you venture into Fitzrovia, or NoHo if you prefer, on a Thursday night, you will still find the various pubs and bars packed full of media types of all levels of seniority chewing the cud, making contacts, discussing issues, doing business and just plain having fun - and long may that continue.

l On the subject of people and celebrations: next Thursday (29 October) is the big night in the media calendar, as the industry gathers for the Media Week Awards at London's Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair. If you haven't booked your ticket yet, do hurry, as there are only a few left. Contact Kate Collins on 020 8267 8188 or kate.collins@haymarket.com for details.

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