Red faced at blue bash
To Hanover's annual summer party on Tuesday, and the Saatchi Gallery was a resplendent and appropriate venue, given it's named after Charles Saatchi, famous ad man to the Conservative Party.
Notable Tories in attendence, aside from another Charles - Mr Lewington, Hanover founder and John Major's former PR man - included David Davis, who made his presence felt at the agency's summer drinks last year.
Flack witnessed an amusing episode with another senior politician of the blue variety. Waiting to collect bags, a fellow attendee (who shall remain nameless) began polite conversation with said individual, and asked where they work.
"I'm the Secretary of State for Wales," came the reply.
Flack and his pal made a swift exit.
EE convened its annual get-together of hippy and hedonistic marketing, media and PR types at Glastonbury last weekend.
This year Flack spotted (read drunkenly hugged) M&C Saatchi PR boss, Chris Hides (pictured here with BT/EE comms chief Mat Sears and PRWeek’s Danny Rogers); Amazon’s European Operations comms lead, Stuart Jackson; Pitch founder Henry Chappell; and former Cake boss Adrian Pettett (now at music promoter Lock N Load Events).
They rubbed shoulders somewhat uncomfortably with much-younger celebrity guests including Brooklyn Beckham, Jack Whitehall and Professor Green.
The EE Brunch on the corner of the Worthy Farm site has now become established as a relaxed and must-attend event, with great catering and a procession of up-and-coming music acts to entertain the CMOs and journos rocking up in their wristbands.
Sears runs this slick operation – liaising with Emily Eavis, introducing acts on stage – but somehow still finds time to venture out into the festival madness each evening.
The Glasto-hatted tech & telecoms guru was spotted later that evening catching his beloved Wu Tang Clan on the West Holts Stage, boogying to Norman Jay MBE at Greenpeace’s sunset session, and even catching the sunrise at the stone circle.
It’s a lesson in why PR bosses need real stamina in 2019.
Claws and effect
In other festival news, Flack was kindly invited to House Festival by W Communications yesterday, set in the grounds of Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath.
As one of the most expensive one-day events anywhere, revellers were treated to a line up of music and events that included Groove Armada and gospel karaoke.
After a booze-filled summer day, there was so much discarded lobster on the floor that Flack had to pick the claws from his shoes as the party left the site.
Overheard on the dance floor: "Where's the butler when you need one?"
Talking of summer bashes, Flack is hoping to attend another next Tuesday, this time of a nautical nature as the PRCA Summer Boat Party disembarks from London's Festival Pier. Word on my inbox is it'll have a Hawaiian theme this year, with, presumably, industry luminaries donning grass skirts and loud shirts and dancing to the Hawai Five-0 theme tune.
It also might be the last time to party with PRCA deputy director general Matt Cartmell (pictured below in the fetching grey Trilby and braces) before he sets sail for pastures new. Cartmell's colleague Nicholas Dunn McAfee has also, errr, jumped ship.
Really hacked off
PRWeek's deputy editor John Harrington sparked a minor Twitter debate this week about journalists being rude to PRs:
Flack was happy to read of the happy endings for some PR pros after being on the receiving end of a sharp-tounged hack.
During a sell-in, many years ago, a journalist told me I didn’t have a clue about news and I need to ‘get a new career’. That same press release and story made the front page of the FT the next day.— mark perkins (@thatmarkperkins) July 3, 2019
As a junior, I had: ‘you’re an effing imbecile sending me this to review without a cable to connect it a Mac. Everybody knows I use a Mac. I will tell my colleagues about you. You may as well give up now.’ I told him the Mac cable was in same box, below the product. No apology.— Lee Nugent (@LeeNugent) July 3, 2019
This one probably wins the top prize, though. Ouch.
Back in the day the NME used to fax back our press releases marked out of 10...— Peter Mountstevens (@PMtStevens) July 3, 2019
Flack wonders how many of his dear readers squirmed at this gem:
PRWeek is a celebrity (get outta there!)