DIARY: Ceremony of the Loving Cup: arcane but harmless

The industry goes out of its way to position itself as cutting-edge, but when the great and good of the City PR world gathered at the Armourer's Hall last week, tradition was very much the watchword.

IPR presidents past and present mingled with dignitaries at the foundation dinner of the City of London Guild of Public Relations Practitioners.

The wannabe City livery company is led by 'Master' Stephen Jolly, by day an unassuming head of comms for serviced office firm Regus, by night a freemason-like proponent of the arcane rituals of these charitable fraternities.

Most perplexing of all was the rather odd but ostensibly harmless Ceremony of the Loving Cup. This is a 1,000-year-old drinking game based on the theme of protecting a vulnerable monarch from a knife-wielding maniac.

Modesty prevents Diary naming those seen taking part in this anachronistic practice (oh and shame, for Diary, too, partook) but execs at BNFL, Coca-Cola and the industry's venerable institute should watch their backs ...

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