Let's do lunch inside the world of advertising

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The Independent Online
Ever heard of Bean MC, the four-strong rap band? Probably not. Bean MC is a four-partner ad agency. Or it was until last week. And it had shown such promise, on its 1994 launch, when the partners had posed moodily for photographers in a Lancaster Gate mews.

The agency has carried out highly praised work for Virgin Radio, among others. But in the best tradition of band break-ups, there were differences between the creative side and management. This week, a bleak statement announced that "Paul and Gary Marshall, the creative 50 per cent of the agency, wished to keep Bean MC going. But Mark Cramphorn and Robert Bean, the management half, found that their interests and ambitions were no longer being served by the agency."

Crates of champers for the first 100 readers to guess which half penned that statement.

Having spent months denying that it had filmed a "gay" kiss for one of its new ads, Guinness has finally begun to discuss the idea of airing the mythical piece. Pasolini and Jarman would have killed for this much hype, but viewers expecting some landmark of homosexual art will be horribly disappointed.

The modest film (directed, like the rest of the current campaign, by Tony Kaye) presents a couple of flatmates, one houseproud, one a slob. As the slob heads off to work, he pecks the other on the cheek. "Sometimes it's hard to be a woman," the film explains. Not enough to merit all this fuss, you might think. But the drinks giant has come over all coy - no, cowardly is the word - again this week, pulling Kaye's film from the prestigious D&AD awards.

Trevor Beattie, who manages to remain an enfant terrible of advertising even in his mid-thirties, is using sex again to shift goods. This, after all, is the man who took Eva Herzigova's breasts and stuck them on 96- sheet posters to flog Wonderbra. But it doesn't take a genius to make bras sexy. Across the industry, everybody has been asking what on earth the TBWA creative director can do with his latest project - the Thermos flask.

At a recent awards ceremony, our Trev was heard to boast about his plans. Shaking his long ringlets, he revealed that posters will show the flask against bold headlines, such as "Hipflask", "Trainspotters of the word ignite", and "Leave it, Grandad". The endline? You'll laugh like a drain: "Thermos. The flask just got hot."

The list of things that cannot be shown before the 9pm watershed was extended this week when the Independent Television Commission banned - wait for it - beautiful people. We're talking Martini, which has incurred the fury of numerous viewers, as has the agency that dreamt up its campaign, Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury. Seventy punters officially complained that the ads were insensitive to people with facial disfigurements. Clearly, the ITC believes that ugly people will be safely tucked up in bed by 9pm and incapable of setting their videos. Well, they're probably right.

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