Pembroke: Author in hard backache

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The Independent Online
Drayton Bird, former vice- chairman of Ogilvy & Mather and a 'nice-looking hunk of a man', according to his publisher, was not feeling very hunky yesterday. Mr Bird, currently trying to publicise his latest contribution to the literary world, How to Write Sales Letters That Sell, has put his back out. The ailment, the adman tells me, is a legacy of an old injury incurred when he reached forward for a drink and ended up in a wheelchair.

When he creaks back to a vertical position Mr Bird plans to return to his rented house in California, to have another crack at fiction. This proved fertile ground 30 years ago, when he penned a novel, Fun Rats Run Faster, set in Manchester. 'I'm going back at Christmas to decide what to write,' he says.

The greater spotted public relations person, not a shy and retiring type at the best of times, was on mass display last night at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

Sporting black tie and ball gown, the industry's finest had gathered for the PR Awards, its annual love-in sponsored by the magazine PR Week.

Gong of the night went to Peter Gummer, brother of John Selwyn, who picked up an 'outstanding contribution' award for running Shandwick Communications.

Gutted of College Hill was Dick Millard, whose agency lost out in the best use of sponsorship award. The agency had high hopes of Exco, the money broker which, apart from swapping its chief executive three months after going public, also sponsored the broomball championships at the Broadgate centre in the City. A banana promotion walked off with the prize.

Nomura Asset Management has signed up a useful new recruit for its golf club. Richard Bisson, who joined from James Capel as director of investment, is a former golf blue who had a handicap of four by the time he was 16.

'I actually wanted to try and make it as a professional but my parents wanted me to continue my eduction,' he reflects ruefully. Golf, he says, has a higher profile at Nomura. 'I've just got back from Tokyo where people hardly seemed to talk bout anything else.'

A bit of reshuffling at Eurotunnel, where the merging of treasury and corporate finance departments appears to have been left Patrick Fulhaber out in the cold. The Frenchman was group treasurer, a post now taken on by Michael Grant, head of corporate finance.

Eurotunnel does not know what Mr Fulhaber is going to do 'apart from leaving at the end of the month and returning to France'. Will he chance it via the tunnel?