The old saying that “if you can remember the Sixties, you weren’t really there” is just as relevant to the DM industry back in the day…or so they say. Of course, it took DMers a few decades to catch up, but what’s new?
Apparently, not that long ago, working in this industry was fun; the parties were sensational, the drugs chemical, the women extra-marital and the booze plentiful. I was reminded of this the other day as I sat having a rather boozy lunch – remember those? – with an old industry guru.
According to my source, one agency chief was so tight-fisted that he used to have the summer party in the back-garden of his own house. But little did he know that while he was firing up the BBQ, the creative teams were busy snorting coke off his toilet and rifling through his wife’s knickers’ drawer. There were even prizes on offer back at the agency the next day for the most outrageous pair purloined. Of course, I am far too polite (not to mentioned shit-scared of the lawyers) to name the agency in question, but it just goes to show how very classy everyone was back then.
Then there’s the tale of an agency party during which a senior creative team was so desperate to get hold of some drugs that they approached one of the only black guys in the room whom, in their slightly addled state, they reckoned would be a nailed-on drugs dealer. Apparently they got a rather nasty shock when they discovered that he was in fact married to the managing director. Oops.
And who could possibly forget the seasonal antics of that guy from Claydon Heeley. I can’t actually remember his name – let’s call him Leo Campbell for argument’s sake – but he was allegedly banned from his own Christmas party after being so “tired and emotional” that he jumped over the bar, helped himself to a few bottles and found himself banged up for the night.
There are also more than a few tales of that bloke who used to be the editor of a DM trade magazine (watch it – Ed). I actually can’t recall his name (that’s better – Ed) but it is said he ran into a spot of trouble at his own awards, on more than one occasion. Of course, the most famous incident was when he disappeared to the bar to watch a crucial Chelsea match, only for host Fred MacAuley to grass him up in front of 750 guests. Ouch.
Then there was the slightly less well known time when he allegedly lost his room key for the hotel suite he was sharing with a colleague. No problem, he thought, so at about 3am he went to reception to get another key. Not wanting to wake his colleague, he slept on the sofa, but was in for a rather rude awakening the next morning when a complete stranger poked his head round the corner and demanded to know why he was dribbling on the sofa of his sitting room. Unbeknown to this esteemed editor, the hotel reception had given him the key and number of someone else’s room. Double ouch.
Life is so boring these days. Ah well, back to my camomile tea and vegetable plot…
(Got anything you’re dying to get off your chest? Email me, discretion guaranteed! email@example.com)