Soho agencies are kept in the dark

Much was made of the chaos inflicted on shoppers and retailers by last week's power cuts across London's Soho, but PR agencies in the area have only just recovered sufficiently to tell Diary of their woes.

The Red Consultancy sent staff home or to clients, and CEO Mike Morgan was hot under the collar.

'We weren't told they were going to turn off the power, even though they knew,' he claims. 'EDF promised the website would be the source for updates, but it went down and the helpline people said they didn't know anything.'

Launch Group was also unimpressed. 'The lights went out, as did landline phones, and mobiles struggled to get a signal,' wails recently arrived director of corporate and business Paul Maguire, whose team was mid-rehearsal for a 'major pitch'. Rainier PR, meanwhile, dispatched staff to wireless hotspots, got everyone checking in via instant messenger and used VoIP to keep phonelines open.

Diary presumed such techniques were for office gossip.

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