Chips are down for members' club regulars
The esoteric world of London private members’ clubs felt close to meltdown this week as the elite of the PR business fell into open revolt.
Flack can bring you the earth-shattering exclusive that Taylor Herring boss, James Herring has resigned his membership of The Groucho Club. Yes, you read that correctly.
Herring, who almost defines the adjective ‘clubbable’, cut up his long-held Groucho card in disgust after Soho’s most famous hangout "more than doubled my membership fees in the past year, offering a few paltry free meals in compensation".
And he is not the only creative guru to rebel. Word reaches Flack that W’s Warren Johnson, who remained a Groucho member as PRWeek went to press, recently threw his Negroni out of his pram at the club after being told that there was a two-hour limit on an evening dinner table. Michael Winner must be turning in his grave.
Just across the road on Dean Street this week, Hope&Glory co-founders James Gordon-Mackintosh and Jo Carr were literally speechless when Soho House ran out of chips on Wednesday.
Imagine our innovative duo’s amazement as ready to order their lunchtime sustenance, a sheepish waiter announced that ‘owing to a gas shortage’ (not usually a problem at Soho House – Ed) there would be no fried food served at Soho House on Dean Street that day.
Strangely, however, Flack can report that Unity’s former co-boss Nik Govier – also spotted lunching in Soho House on Wednesday – seemed totally unfazed by this calamity. The only explanation being that her diet must preclude such delicious salty sides.
This could be a story that runs and runs. Unsubstantiated rumours already reach PRWeek’s news desk of a looming avocado shortage at Quo Vadis.
Flack spent Thursday afternoon in the company of the newly-appointed mentees for the Creative Mentoring Project, the joint initiative with the PRCA that seeks to encourage creative talent in UK PR.
There was much excitement at the prospect of meeting their mentors, although Flack heard of an introduction that had an extra twist. Apparently one had already met their guru – when they interviewed the mentee for a job, in fact, although the creative chief had forgotten.
Such is life. Flack hears the two laughed it off, thankfully.
Where are the creative (mutton) chops?
Is this proof that, after many a false dawn, we have now moved beyond ‘peak beard’ in the creative community?
Looking around the drinks reception for mentors and mentees at Unlimited Group’s Soho HQ last night, the lack of facial hair on show was striking. Flack counted just four fuzz-faced gentlemen at a gathering of almost 30 of the most accomplished creative figures in UK PR, plus as many up-and-coming creative types. (The gender split was around 50/50, FYI).
By this assessment, creative comms is facing a bare-faced future. Gillette must be ecstatic.
As new research suggests drinking rates in the UK are declining sharply, here’s a sign-of-the-times note from Lansons chief Tony Langham:
In the 90s @LansonsLatest parties would go on until the last journalist stopped - @ClareParsons_ and I would leave hacks on steps with full bottles at 3am.— Tony Langham (@TonyLangham) October 10, 2018
Tonight we'll be out by 11 and tomorrow be able to remember the great time we've had. Progress?#LansonsParty ?? ?? ??