RAC marketing chief, Jan Smith, has indeed set out to cherry-pick a "virtual agency" from across the industry, as reported last week. Elsewhere, the concept has suffered setbacks. One prophet, Jay Chiat, turned Chiat Day into a virtual shop back in 1994 with a huge investment in technology: in effect, this meant staff sitting wherever they liked - including their favourite bar. But when Chiat sold the agency to Madison Avenue rival TBWA, the idea died: this week TBWA's chairman insisted on having his own room, and secretary outside. At the London-based buy-out from Chiat Day, St Luke's, the virtual agency flourishes, though a spokesman explains that "you can't be Stalinist about it".
Is this a record? Bartle Bogle Hegarty has lost WH Smith's pounds 11m account for the second time in 14 months. WH Smith sacked BBH in December 1994, reinstated the account in March 1995, and this week announced its intention to withdraw again.