There is a thin line between humility and humiliation. Attempts by senior Shandwick directors to strike an earthy note at a recent company bash fall just right on the line.
Last week's party for ad agency McCann-Erickson - in the same IPR group as Shandwick - saw the CEOs of Shandwick practice areas kitted out in KFC-style matching red shirts.
Addressing the throng at McCann's new Russell Square HQ, chairman and CEO Ben Langdon thanked the Shandwick faithful for their efforts. CEO Philip Dewhurst, practice heads Colin Byrne, Tessa Curtis and Charles Lankester, and a host of lesser names donned the dazzling blouses with varying amounts of comfort.
One bitter source said his red shirt had 'a shelf life of three hours, from when I put it on to when I put it in the bin'.
'Your source is telling fibs,' says Shandwick's European marketing head, Emma Bowen-Davies, whose red-shirt-ruse, she claims, went down very well.
'They all loved it.'
Corporate practice CEO Chris Genasi started the evening in smart business suit, ridiculing those more game than he. By the end of the evening he too had succumbed. 'One party bucket with french fries, please Chris.'