Campaign Diary: fun with Snowballs at AMV's 40th and Brandcast

Snowball: blackballed?
Snowball: blackballed?

The great and the good gathered to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the UK's biggest advertising agency.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO celebrated its 40th birthday with a party at One Embankment Place. Both surviving founders – Peter Mead and Adrian Vickers – took to the stage to reminisce about the founding of the agency. Vickers even indiscreetly let slip that its group chairman and chief executive Dame Cilla Snowball wasn’t successful in her first application to join the agency. Well, look how well she’s done since.

Master of ceremonies Jack Whitehall did a good job of bringing some levity to YouTube's Brandcast at London's Olympia last week despite the latest crisis over brand safety. Whitehall's usual schtick about being a posh ex-public school boy was aided by the presence on-stage of Snowball, whose son went to the same school in Barnes as the comedian. "My parents wasted so much money on my education," Whitehall joked, after unveiling his new YouTube show, Training Days, which involves him visiting various football clubs ahead of next year's World Cup in Russia. By contrast, he revealed with a mock-gasp, "Freddy Snowball's a lawyer!" Diary suspects Whitehall might earn a much higher hourly rate than the average lawyer for hosting corporate gigs such as Brandcast.

Hats off, or maybe motorcycle helmets off, to Zaid Al-Qassab, chief brand officer of BT, who managed to avoid a diary clash by hosting the Newsworks Planning Awards in the West End in his role as chair of judges and then tearing across London in the rush hour on the back of a bike to Olympia to appear on-stage at Brandcast. 

The Empathy Business founder Belinda Parmar has, according to her LinkedIn, joined Barclays UK in the role of empathy-in-residence. But when Diary approached the bank to ask for more information about this intriguing role, it turned out there had been a communication breakdown somewhere. Barclays confirmed Parmar was contracting with them, but suggested the work was not in fact related to empathy, but customer service – while Parmar said it was partly, but not entirely, empathy-related. Sounds like both parties need to work on understanding each other better.



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