MEDIAFREAK

THE BITES THAT BITE

n Rebels with a slogan

Mike Hewitt, editor of Marketing magazine, wrote a column last week arguing that marketing has finally come to politics. His comments are dismissed in the latest issue of the same journal as "a load of old cobblers" by Winston Fletcher, chairman of the ad agency Delaney Fletcher Bozell, who points out that politicians were using advertising aeons before Mr Heinz began baking beans. "Liberty, equality, fraternity" (Paris, 1789) is probably the best political slogan ever coined. "Workers of the world unite" (Communist Manifesto, 1848) comes a close second.

Hewitt himself has obviously been influenced more by "Let a thousand flowers bloom" (Chairman Mao, c1958) to allow a regular columnist to pen such outright dissent on the pages of his magazine.

n C5 takes the low road

Channel 5 may not be setting the Thames (or the Tyne or the Mersey) alight, but it is causing more than a few sparks on Clydeside. A breakdown of its viewing figures show that it is doing best in central Scotland. Much to the chagrin of Scottish television, C5 scored 178 on an index basis in the STV transmission area, compared with 111 in London and Yorkshire. Could that have anything to do with the fact that the two new faces of Five which have been hyped most forcefully by the channel - the news anchor Kirsty Young and the chat-show host Jack Docherty - are Lowland Scots?

n Rivets to riches

The chairman of STV, Gus Macdonald, has been accused of betraying his Red Clydeside roots since he joined the capitalist class and became the scourge of the television unions. But there are signs that he is going from rivets to riches and back again. In STV's latest glossy annual report, Macdonald is pictured against a shipyard crane on the Clyde. Then again, STV (soon to be renamed the Scottish Media Group) has been betting more on Glasgow since it acquired that city's two big newspapers, The Herald and Evening Times.

n Luck of the Irish

The bonkbuster author Jilly Cooper is getting quite distressed by all the journalists raising the thorny subject of her spouse's past infidelities during interviews designed to hype her latest work, Appassionata. "I have a lovely husband at home and every time they write about my marriage it crucifies him ... he just has to sit there and read it all," she complains. Not-so-silly-Jilly made the remark in the course of a lengthy interview with the Irish Times, in which she also revealed that she once tried to seduce "a heavenly Irishman", who gently spurned her advances by telling her: "I do love my wife, but thank you very much."

Doubtless that is just the sort of nice nostalgic anecdote her hapless hubby needs to reassure him in this troubled time.

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