Let's do lunch inside the world of advertising

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The Independent Online
In adland, there's nothing so beautiful as a successful creative partnership. It's like Bonnie and Clyde, Morecambe and Wise, Papa and Nicole. Just imagine: a writer and an art director sparking crazy ideas off each other - day in, day out - to produce prize-winning posters and films. Take, for instance, a brilliant team at Bartle Bogle Hegarty: Tim Riley and Peter Gausis. These are the men whose partnership, since the early 1980s at BMP DDB, has produced classic work for John Smith's beer and the Guardian. Or consider another duo: Mark Goodwin and Gary Martin. Together they've produced ideas for four separate agencies (BBH BBDO, Collett Dickenson Pearce and Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson). Naturally, you know their stuff: among other jobs, they've done high-profile campaigns for Nike. But now those beautiful teams have been blown apart because Abbott Mead Vickers has poached Riley and Martin and hitched them together. Their partners, Gausis and Goodwin, remain at BBH. Precisely how - d'you suppose - do they feel?

The British Safety Council is withdrawing its condom promotion. Or, specifically, it has pulled the poster which incurred royal wrath - the one that used a pic of Charles 'n' Di snogging on their wedding day, in front of which the cartoon mascot Johnny Condom cheekily warned that "Appearances can be deceptive". There's something deliciously safe about the Safety Council's climb-down: blame the former director-general. After all, he can't complain, as the BSC's press release explains. "Sadly, James Tye, our former director-general, passed away on Sunday. This was his last campaign. In his absence, the board of governors feels it really cannot support such a controversial poster." The BSC, believe it or not, is a registered charity.

A few weeks ago, when Abbott Mead Vickers bought the Fitzrovia media agency Pattison Horswell Durden, it was clear that one or two client conflicts would need sorting out. In particular, there was some embarrassment over sanitary protection. PHD managed Lil-lets, while Abbott Mead handled the pounds 4m media account for Tampax, placing ads dreamed up in New York by its sister agency, BBDO. Plainly, one of those accounts would need to find a new home - so nobody at the agency can have been too upset to hear, last week, that Tampax is putting its work out to pitch. BBDO is to fight for it against McCann-Erickson and FCB/Leber Katz. But what does Lil-lets think? Will Tampax's rival retain the services of Abbott Mead's subsidiary, New PHD? Or do Lil-lets executives recall Abbott Mead's managing director, Andrew Robertson, telling Campaign magazine shortly after the merger that "Tambrands is the priority client. If it comes to the push, Lil-lets will have to go." Let's Do Lunch thinks Lil-lets should make them squeal.

ALEX SOMERSET

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