From 3 Monkeys to No Lions
The first PR Cannes Fringe event, with the appropriate title #SpareMagnum, hosted some early week shenanigans.
This alternative summit for UK indie agencies, heartily encouraged by PRWeek, saw the first PR ‘Lion’ being awarded. Naturally, it went to the most outspoken British PR present at the event: Fourth Angel’s Angie Moxham.
The 3 Monkeys founder (shown below) seemed pleased to receive the Lion but Kevin, as he was provisionally named, is now sadly missing. It seems our Angie went on a bit of a night out with Kevin and said she woke up the next day in Antibes (but I thought she was staying in Cannes? – ed) bereft. After serious interrogation from fellow participants, Moxham’s response was: "I gave him to Dynamo last night."
As far as the full story can be pieced together it seems Moxham had attended a lively dinner hosted by News UK, at which the TV magician was present - the PR agency of the same name is not implicated.
First PR ‘Lion’ this year goes to Angie Moxham pic.twitter.com/JG626LPato— Danny Rogers (@dannyrogers2001) June 19, 2018
Flack managed to track down another attendee at the Dynamo dinner - Edelman’s general manager in London, Ruth Warder. Sadly the glamorous Warder was little help. "I made my excuses and left early when they brought out big hammers and told us to start smashing up the main course," said Warder.
We are now seriously worried for both the wellbeing of Kevin... and the eating habits of the metropolitan elite.
There is also talk of a group of Taylor Herring staff who will remain nameless – ie: James Herring, Peter Mountstevens and Sam Corry – later being refused entry into the famed Carlton Terrace. It appears that to Carlton Terrace staff, the trio bore too close a resemblance to terrorists, in what is a climate of heightened security.
Flack is confused: was this because Corry was carrying an inappropriately large rucksack? His burgeoning dark beard? Or was it because at this point of the evening none of the party appeared to be speaking an intelligible European language?
I just can’t get News (Corp) out of my head
On a warmer note, at News Corp’s big party on Wednesday night, Kylie Minogue totally charmed the world of British advertising, PR and media.
The former Charlene from Neighbours played a wonderful set in the grounds of a château just north of Cannes.
And despite her longevity, Kylie could still reduce senior executives to a quivering wreck.
Flack, who had somehow managed to blag his way into the VIP area, watched as Dow Jones comms supremo Andy Robinson (once of Euro RSCG and Edelman fame) was - probably for the first time - lost for words, as he was introduced to Kylie before the gig.
"What do I say to her?" trembled Robinson as he waited nervously in the queue downing another rosé for Dutch courage. "Ask her who she is supporting in the World Cup?," came the useful suggestion from colleagues.
But when it came to it, Robinson relaxed back into chirpy form. Indeed both him and PRWeek’s editor (purely there for moral support, naturally – ed) had to be physically dragged away when it was someone else’s turn to talk to the elfin queen of the Locomotion.
How Cannes you charge that?
Cracking down on excessive taxi costs was among the promises for the new, shorter Cannes Lions this year. It doesn’t appear to apply to Uber, however, as PRCA and ICCO chief Francis Ingham found out:
.@uber I’ve been a public supporter of you for years. Tonight, your French driver took me 3 times the route just to fleece me. I’d complain, but you have no— Francis Ingham (@Ingers1975) June 19, 2018
complaint mechanism in your app -or indeed anywhere else. Maybe your critics are right saying you’re just pirates in cars
Rumours that right-leaning, free marketeer Ingham is now extolling the benefits of regulation and state intervention are surely wide of the mark.
Davis in PR haven (again)
Back to London now, and what is it with Brexit Secretary David Davis and PR bashes? Last week the avid Eurosceptic was among the throng at Hanover’s 20th birthday party.
On Tuesday, he was in attendance to toast the merger of Cicero and Westbourne, getting close to James Bethell, the blue blooded founder of the latter agency:
Flack suspects enjoying the industry’s best hospitality is a welcome respite from the Brexit-fuelled bitterness in Parliament at the moment.
Sadness for Sorrell supporter
One of Sir Martin Sorrell’s (many) former lieutenants came to his aid this week: the ex-H+K CEO David Wynne-Morgan.
In a letter to the FT this week, Wynne-Morgan writes: "I learnt a great deal from him and far from being a bully I found him an inspirational leader. It will be a very sad day for Britain if political correctness is seen to be more important than ability, ambition and total commitment in our business leaders."
Flack can only speculate as to whether before sending his missive, Wynne-Morgan had to edit out a bit which read something like: "Hi David, can you please send the below to the FT. Ta, Martin."