Media Bitch's Diary 26 March

Clear Channel's Rob Atkinson has a brief encounter with royalty, Nick Theakston sees double at GroupM, Peter Mandelson has a point, and the humble Walkabout becomes the new Soho House...

Comedian Michael McIntyre, Andrew James, winner of the Educational Achiever of the Year award at the Prince's Trust Celebrate Success awards, and Clear Channel's Rob Atkinson
Comedian Michael McIntyre, Andrew James, winner of the Educational Achiever of the Year award at the Prince's Trust Celebrate Success awards, and Clear Channel's Rob Atkinson

Rob Atkinson brushes up on etiquette for royal encounter

All eyes were on Vernon Kaye and Tess Daly at the Prince's Trust Celebrate Success Awards, as the pair co-hosted the ceremony in their first professional outing since news broke of Vernon's ‘sexting'.

Did Bitch say all eyes? Not quite - Rob Atkinson, acting chief executive of Clear Channel, also caused a stir as presenter of the evening's Educational Achiever Award, sponsored by the outdoor media owner.

Atkinson was hoping to co-present the prize with ravishing Bond girl Gemma Arterton, but instead he played the straight man to comedian Michael McIntyre, whom Atkinson admonished for not sticking to the script.

However, he had nothing but praise for the charity's patron HRH The Prince of Wales, who showed a surprisingly good knowledge of outdoor media. Atkinson even read a book on etiquette in preparation for the encounter, but Bitch hears he stopped short of curtseying...

Outdoor sector's charity efforts will run and run...

Clear Channel's group head James Elson has put the rest of media-land to shame by flying to Washington and back within a weekend to run a marathon in under three hours. As you do.

Elson's extreme training is preparation for the gruelling Death Valley Cup in California, which involves an 135-mile footrace in Death Valley in July, before a 508-mile bicycle race spanning 10 mountain passes in October.

Meanwhile, closer to home, a team from Admedia (pictured below) completed a 10k run in Hyde Park in aid of charity Missing People, with the runners including Anthony Allison-Burke (51 mins), Andrew Bishop (54 mins), David Shepherd (55 mins) and Ketan Lad (56 mins).

The group have now raised 25% of their target for the year, and celebrated with a few restorative pints of Guinness at 11.30am. What would Elson say?

 

Nick Theakston sees double at GroupM

As if keeping tabs on agency talent wasn't difficult enough, WPP has doubled its troubles by bringing in Kevin Chase as a digital planner on MediaCom's Universal account.

Not that there's anything wrong with Kevin, you understand, but his identical twin brother Dave Chase works in the same office as head of music partnerships at GroupM's music division BrandAmp.

To avoid confusion, Bitch hears Dave has warned his boss Nick Theakston, chief operating officer at GroupM, that he has a doppelganger in the building.

Note to Theakston: Kevin is the one with long hair.

Calling in the admen won't fix Tories' woes

Peter Mandelson has waded into the debate surrounding the Tories' appointment of M&C Saatchi to boost the Party's ad campaign, telling the Mirror that Cameron is "too much PR and not enough PM".

For once, the Prince of Darkness has a point - calling in the admen to "tear lumps out of the Prime Minister" won't convince voters Cameron can be trusted to run the country, it will just disillusion a public already sick of spin.

Alternatively, the Conservatives could always try announcing some clear-cut new policies. But then that would be missing the point... wouldn't it?

Media's new hangout puts paid to illicit courtships

And finally: The House of St Barnabas is fast becoming media-land's favourite new haunt - which means it is no longer a safe venue for the time-honoured tradition of illicit media trysts.

Just the other week, one Publicis agency employee was rumbled by his boss enjoying a drink with a lady who - to put it politely - he probably shouldn't have been out with.

Your secret's safe(ish) here - but for those ‘unofficial' meetings, it's probably best to go even further under the radar. Bitch suggests Walkabout on Shaftesbury Avenue should be free of those pesky colleagues - and, of course, the drinks will be considerably cheaper...

 

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