Let's do lunch; some campaigns are full of hot air

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Continental Europe has gone too far. First they banned British beef, now English lackeys of the French-owned agency Publicis have attempted to identify the areas in Britain that suffer most from ... farting. Yes, it's true: the Baker Street agency has produced an ad promoting the indigestion remedy Bisodol, with a humourous piece about wind (the theme tune is "Things That Make You Go Oooo"). So, you're quite literally gasping to know, where will the ad be first targeted? Publicis has pinpointed four areas in Britain for intensive coverage: Central, Meridian, the North and the North-West. Britain's fartiest regions - official.

So much for the French. But this week's special jingoistic Let's do Lunch hasn't finished. The battle between UK shops and Oriential rivals left both sides about equal this week. First, Bartle, Bogle Hegarty founders Nigel Bogle and John Bartle ventured west out of adland to Campaign's Hammersmith bunker, to confirm that they planned to set up an office in Hong Kong or Singapore. Initially, this would only be to service its established clients. Then, in London, the Japanese agency Hakuhodo picked up its first job for clients outside its home base: it will spend pounds 500,000 over the summer in an attempt to flog selected Penguin Books. Meanwhile, Simons Palmer has announced that it is teaming up with Japan's fourth-largest agency, Asatsu, for a 12-month trial period. Boys, don't you know there's a war on?

According to snooty agencies, clients can be easily impressed by a bit of celebrity endorsement. Now Abbott Mead Vickers has found a new way to involve famous figures in advertising. The agency has entered into a joint venture for online advertising. Its partners in the project are AMV's own PR subsidiary, which is run by Matthew Freud, a scion of the shrinks-to-grim-oil painting family, and the House of Blues, a small American entertainment corporation led by the former Blues Brother Dan Ackroyd. A lugubrious ensemble, admittedly, but perfect for attracting online anoraks.

Fed up with counting sheep? Try counting senior women in advertising instead. But it won't help you nod off. Even chronic sleeping sickness couldn't stop you reaching the end of that list. If you don't know their names, you could pop along to the forthcoming conference of the Women's Advertising Club in London. A large part of the industry's senior female talent will speak on "Making the most of your career". Look out for them on the fairly small table at the top.