Let's do lunch

Inside the world of advertising

The most celebrated recluse in advertising, Maurice Saatchi, has been spotted glad-handing journalists from the industry bible Campaign at the grotty Marylebone offices of his year-old agency, M&C Saatchi. This must have been difficult for the old chap: at his former empire, Saatchi & Saatchi, he enjoyed a Howard Hughes-style private suite in Charlotte Street. Not entirely surprising, then, that Mo, brother Chas and the executives they brought with them from Saatchi & Saatchi are said to be looking for something more glamorous in Soho.

Last year, so rumour has it, Guinness bottled out. But Virgin Vodka is more, um, cocksure. Virgin has produced the first British television ad to show a gay couple kissing. This comes a week after Peugeot showed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on its three-minute ad. Peugeot, and its agency, pointed out that this isn't a gay kiss, but try telling that to the tabloids. Virgin (which didn't involve an external agency) concertinas three hours at a gay and straight nightclub into 30 seconds. Viewers will see a man and woman snogging, then a gay couple touching tongues. Oh, and the odd shot of VV, too.

Great pitch disasters of our time: presenting its thoughts to Segaworld last week, the agency Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy had rather a dim time of it. First, the power at the Covent Garden office broke down, obliging the team to abandon its hi-tech presentation. Then the air conditioning cut out, too. Bound to lose? No: despite everything, Mustoe Merriman won the business.

Which pales into insignificance beside the industry's all-time flop. Pitching to one of the biggest accounts in history two years ago, one of the country's best-known agencies blew it by writing silly notes to each other during the presentation. One fell into the client's hand. It said: "Look out for the c*** in the glasses - he looks like trouble."

The American company Guess - which hasn't made a UK commercial in nine years - has raided Hollywood for its homage to Forties noir. Guess has put together a galaxy of stars, comprising Juliette Lewis, Harry Dean Stanton, the former porn queen Traci Lords, and thirtysomething's Peter Horton. None of them, as a rule, "does adverts", declares the production company Great Guns. So what changed their minds? "The point about this sleazy LA thing is that it's all dressed up with glamour," says the director Andy Morahan. "Everyone's interesting and beautiful but underneath, they're scumbags!"Indeed...

ALEX SOMERSET

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) - City, London

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager...

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable