Media Bitch's Diary 19 March

Tess Alps finds love at the NABS Big Bash, Evelyn Webster shows why shooting is the new golf, and Metro plans an exciting trip for press buyers in June

Thinkbox chief executive Tess Alps 'weds' comedian Justin Lee Collins at the NABS Big Bash
Thinkbox chief executive Tess Alps 'weds' comedian Justin Lee Collins at the NABS Big Bash

NABS Big Bash raises £1.5m with Las Vegas love-in

The NABS Big Bash at Battersea Evolution last night (Thursday 18 March) was a media love-in, with the Las Vegas theme creating some interesting unions.

Thinkbox chief executive Tess Alps bid an undisclosed sum to marry comedian and the evening's host Justin Lee Collins, while the Mirror's David Emin and former NABS chief executive Lucy Owen got ‘hitched' after winning the cloakroom lucky draw.

After dinner, the Grand Auction, hosted with elan by MPG's chief executive Marc Mendoza, raised a total of £1.5m - including an £11,000 bid for a trip to the Congo to see gorillas in the wild by a generous media executive, who wishes to remain nameless.

But the fun didn't stop there - singer Alesha Dixon then took to the stage and enticed about 30 energetic media men to dance with her, including GroupM's chief operating officer Nick Theakston, who was reportedly "cutting a rug".

The heady mix of cocktails and high-stakes bidding meant guests were "pretty well-oiled" by the end of the evening, heading off into the night in taxis at 1am.


Tories create ‘trials and tribulations' for Euro RSCG

Details of the Conservatives' pre-election advertising campaign are more closely guarded than Fort Knox, with creative agency Euro RSCG and media agency MPG bound by watertight confidentiality agreements.

However, Bitch has obtained a sense of the atmosphere behind the scenes, with a senior source at Euro RSCG describing the "trials and tribulations" of the project, with the team working past midnight on a brief that "changes on a daily basis".

In an interesting soft drink analogy, the source told Bitch: "If you are advertising Pepsi, it is very unlikely Coca Cola would have a press conference daily to announce a new strategy - this is a new kind of war." Never mind the policies, it seems this election will be played out on the billboards...


Wilson gets the willies over Feltz's condom chat

The ASA's press officer Matt Wilson was picked out for special attention by his boss Guy Parker at yesterday's (Thursday 18 March) ISBA conference - but possibly not for the right reasons.

Parker, the chief executive of the ASA, regaled delegates with the tale of Wilson's appearance on Vanessa Feltz's BBC London radio show the previous day.

Feltz, like the rest of the media, was keen to learn more about the ASA's relaxed rules for condom advertising, and Wilson rushed to reassure her that: "This does not mean condom ads will start appearing willy nilly."

An inspired turn of phrase, and one that will go down in ASA folklore.


Shooting is the new golf for media ladies

Forget meeting for a few rounds of golf - the new way to entertain clients is to take them clay pigeon shooting, as enjoyed by Frances Dickens, chief executive of barter company Astus and Evelyn Webster, chief executive of IPC.

The pair recently spent the morning "letting off steam" with a handful of other media gunslingers at the National Shooting Centre at Bisley in Surrey, and Dickens reports Webster was "rather good".

She told Bitch: "Shooting is definitely the new golf. It is more sociable as you can chat to clients more and it doesn't have to take all day - unless of course you want it to." Heaven forbid.


Metro plots hush-hush agency jaunt to Barbados

And finally: Bitch hears Metro is planning a June jaunt to Barbados for agencies, with the guest list believed to include Vanessa Clifford from Mindshare, Steve Goodman from GroupM and Clare Rush from Mediaedge:cia.

"What's wrong with that?" you ask, as you pencil a trip to South Africa for the World Cup into your diary.

Nothing at all, as far as Bitch is concerned - expect one Derry House source is unsure whether Associated bosses Guy Zitter and Kevin Beatty have yet been made fully aware of the exciting travel arrangements...

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