Let's do lunch: Inside the world of advertising

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The Independent Online
An expensive recruitment ad appears on Channel 4 this week. Fernando Sobron, an art director at Ogilvy and Mather who recently split up with his copywriting partner, filmed himself in a "lonely hearts" spoof on VHS, miming to "Just a Gigolo (I Ain't Got Nobody)". Half-way through his dance, Sobron picks up a phone, but no one's calling, so he carries on dancing. At the end, his direct phone number flashes on screen, with the words: 'Fernando Sobron is looking for a copyriter [sic]'. When Ogilvy and Mather's executive creative director, Patrick Collister, saw the piece he decided to pay pounds 4,000 for airtime, in the middle of the media show Wired World. But he drew the line at paying for a press ad to flag the TV spot: it was headlined "Don't let a dago by".

Few expected Saatchi & Saatchi to keep its place at the top of the industry this year. But Register-MEAL figures commissioned by Campaign show the troubled agency has once again billed more than anyone else, despite losing such accounts as British Airways. But after a 12 per cent drop in billings, the agency has three rivals hot on its heels: J Walter Thompson, Ogilvy and Mather, and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Is that all the Charlotte Street outfit has to worry about? Not exactly: the new empire of brothers Maurice and Charles - now M&C Saatchi - has hit the top 20, not least thanks to the BA account. And M&C Saatchi recently won the job of launching a new cigarette brand from former Saatchi & Saatchi client Gallaher, perhaps the biggest such launch in 30 years.

When Peugeot launched its latest TV ad a month ago there was a hoo-ha over a "gay kiss", which Peugeot explained was mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Four viewers objected to one man giving another the "kiss of life" all the same, the Independent Television Commission says. In all, 45 viewers objected to "offensive" imagery.

A new ad for Pizza Hut pits National Grand Prix hero Damon Hill against the commentator Murray Walker. The film, by Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters, shows them eating pizzas as Walker gives a running commentary. He still manages to scoff his food first, prompting an all-too-familiar ending to his coverage: "Hill finishes second again." Also familiar to Walker is the notion of advertising; he was once an account handler at DMB&B.

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