(French eventually quit WPP in 2005 after making disparaging remarks about female executives, which were then widely disseminated via the blogosphere)
"To start up my next agency with a couple of leading female creatives. They are very talented these days, apparently. They're always banging on about how they are better at multi-tasking than we men, and we'll need someone hot who can fill in for the receptionist when she takes her lunch-break."
(The previously unknown Bollore had a busy 2005 ousting Alain de Pouzilhac from his Havas network group, and then taking a sizeable chunk of Aegis)
"To remember that, now that I have pretended to stop corporate raiding for a bit, I must pretend to care about the thousands of staff who work for me, who built Havas and Aegis into huge corporate pies that I can slice any way I like as long as I make a few million collecting crumbs."
SIR MARTIN SORRELL
(Sir Martin was hit with an unusually public airing of his private life during a painful divorce in which his wife Lady Sandra walked away with two Harrods parking spaces and some £30m)
"To call the chairman of NCP and try to get a deal on a couple of annual parking spaces. Or, I guess I could call al-Fayed to buy Harrods off him, and take back the damn spaces. Now, who to call about the other £30m? Perhaps IPG owes me a rebate."
SIR FRANK LOWE
(In Paul Hammersley's splendidly evocative phrase ,"just when you thought it was all over, Sir Frank reached out, Carrie-like, from the grave" to form a new agency, taking the £50m Tesco account from the "old" Lowe)
"To remind the valet never to shop at Waitrose on the King's Road again. Now where is the nearest Tesco? Weinberger can't remember, bless him. Thank God Hammersley's on board. Bloody handy having him carrying my bags to Atlanta in the old days. And now the Concorde's gone, there are no more Dean and Deluca day-trips."
(Robin Wight bounced back from adversity yet again in 2005, to prove that the class of the 1980s start-up - Lowe, Hegarty, Sorrell and Wight - really is indestructible)
"To call Martin and Frank and ask them how they got a knighthood off Tony B before it's too late. Of course, now that lovely Tory-boy Cameron's in charge, we'll get to the palace one day. He used to work for me you know, or in advertising, or in TV, or PR or something. Or he has a BMW, or needs one, or wants one."
(Lace was the controversial choice to run Lowe London, appointed without the knowledge or approval of the now departed - with Tesco - ex-agency chairman, Paul Weinberger)
"To lose a little weight - it's costing me a fortune in new pin-striped suits. Well, I've got to look lean and hungry-ish for the annual Ivy job-fair with the head-hunters. Also, I must try to find out who this Paul Weinberger character is that everyone keeps banging on about. He was the doorman or something, and ran errands to Tesco. Maybe he could get me a sandwich.
(2005 was as stellar year for BBH. The agency won BA, Unilever, and much more, and has established a reputation as the envy of its peers)
"To have a little fun. I mean, we have won all that new business, are profitable on four continents, are still winning creative awards, and only sold Leo Burnett that minority stake. Even better, I don't have to dance with that mad Gallop woman and her Gucci bustier at the Xmas party any more. Now, if I could only get Hegarty out of those dodgy checked suits."
(Clemmow Hornby Inge powered ahead. The co-founders must have watched with expectant amusement as "lesser" recent start-ups cashed in for squillions in 2005)
"To be slightly less conspicuously having the time of my life, but only slightly. Enough to take all the daggers out of my back and actually be able to sit down at my Ivy table."
(Rising star Seifert was jailed in the US for falsifying timesheets on Ogilvy's anti-drug account. The judge made her write an advertising industry code of conduct as part of her punishment)
"To do an advertising reality show with The Apprentice and Survivor creator, Mark Burnett. That is, when I get out. If it's good enough for Martha Stewart, then... Failing that, to go on a makeover show like The Swan - then my former bosses will have an excuse for not being able to put a name to my face."
(Langdon's brief reign at Euro RSCG came to its inevitable end once his sponsor Jim Heekin moved on to Grey Worldwide. The principal cheerleader Gay Haines has been surprisingly slow at putting him in somewhere else.)
"To become Shona Seifert's penpal. What she doesn't know about being humbled by adversity and the damning silence of her bosses isn't worth knowing. Failing that, I could write the UK version of Seifert's advertising code of conduct. It shouldn't take long. Maybe Gay could help."
(Stanners quit the crumbling dream of Andy Law's Boy Meets Girl agency to join Saatchi & Saatchi as creative director to the loquacious and peripatetic chief executive, Lee Daley)
"To study my Bumper Book of Famous Sayings better. What exactly does "out of the frying pan and into the fire" mean? Lee did a great job building Red Cell, he tells me - when he is not blue-sky-thinking up new ways of denying Charlotte Street's heritage, that is."
(Howell's dream-team fantasies came to a halt in 2005 amid the continuing travails of McCann's IPG parent, and the departure of his creative partner Robert Campbell. Still, we won the Ashes)
"To get to know the names of those two creative johnnies who appear to have taken over from Robert. Funny, don't seem to know them. Have they ever done a 'Private View' in Campaign? Perhaps Freddie Flintoff's free."
E-mail New Near's Resolutions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hatfield'S Best In Show: Virgin Mobile
Someone had to do it. And Virgin is exactly the kind of brand with which Kate Moss should rehabilitate her public image by having a laugh at herself. So, the US agent stereotype, the hamminess and the sheer audacity of Moss's performance - all are fine, because it fits. It is fascinating to hear Cocaine Kate speak not least because in our subconscious she is Croydon Kate and may be as disappointing as David Beckham when she opens her mouth. However, to this native's ear, Kate is from the posh Purley end of Croydon. She delivers her lines with aplomb if not quite a plum. And, God, how many women can look this captivating in a pair of beige hotpants? It's funny, watchable, and an "event" commercial. It got lots of PR over Christmas of course. Good stuff from Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y & R and Virgin Mobile. Kate, I always loved you.