Friday 06 October 1995
Ex-prime minister Margaret Thatcher celebrates her 60th birthday at Claridges next Tuesday. With the Queen in attendance the creme of British industry will be twiddling their bow ties in anticipation.
PR supremo Sir Tim Bell insists he has no idea who is going, but tells me that "Lord Hanson of course will be there, as will I." Those not invited probably have urgent business abroad. Curious to note that Lowe Bell Financial, one of Sir Tim's PR companies, has scheduled its own annual drinks party for the following night. In the world of public relations timing is everything.
Richard Gamble of Royal Insurance is cock-a-hoop at the news that Paul Spencer, associate director and treasurer at Hanson for nine years, has decided to come on board as finance director from January. At 45, Spencer brings with him a serious corporate pedigree having worked for Rolls Royce, British Leyland and ICI's pension fund. Gamble, who was finance director at British Airways before his arrival at Royal, tells me that Spencer has been looking to make the move to finance director for some time.
Roger Burman, chairman of the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre will be nibbling his nails over the weekend. The final bids to host the year-long Millennium exhibition will be submitted next week. Birmingham faces competition from Greenwich, Stratford and Derby. Burman remains undaunted:
"At least we are here ready and waiting and able to cope," he says. "Look what happened to other purpose-built sites, the British Pavilion at the 1992 EXPO in Seville is now packed up in a container somewhere in a Brent warehouse." For those who doubt Birmingham's ability to cope, a spokesman for the NEC points out that its own sewerage works has sufficient spare capacity to cope. Well that's all right then.
Advertising agency DMB&B is finally on the move. After forty years in its St James Square offices, known to staff as the Ministry of Advertising, the group which gave you the 1955 'stars love Mars' ad campaign, featuring a fresh-faced Bob Monkhouse and Petula Clark, will set up shop at 123 Buckingham Palace Road.
John Farrell, the group's UK chairman, just back from the industry's annual marketing junket on board the Canberra, tells me the move will accommodate all 620 employees from both media buying and sales.
Much history will be left behind in St James Square.
When the recently departed father of Babycham, Francis Showering, decided he wanted to advertise his merry perry on TV he set off for the offices of JWT.
When he got there he discovered that they were all out to lunch, but the receptionist mentioned that some other 'advertising types' could be found up on the sixth floor. Showering went up and met the Masius mob and 'I'd love a Babycham' was born.
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