DIARY: Some people will go to extraordinary lengths to get a free lunch

The much maligned PR lunch is, we are told, an opportunity for journalists and PR advisers to get their teeth into some juicy industry gossip and a decent meal.

The much maligned PR lunch is, we are told, an opportunity for

journalists and PR advisers to get their teeth into some juicy industry

gossip and a decent meal.



But the cosy tete a tete between one of our own PR Week hacks and Lee

Tomkins, managing director of Ruder Finn was rudely hijacked last week

in a bizarre case of mistaken identity.



Waiting at the restaurant table for the journalist in question (late of

course), Tomkins - who had spoken to the journalist but never seen him -

was approached by a gentleman who appeared to recognise her.



Chatting together for the next ten minutes, it slowly dawned on Tomkins

that the man next to her was not the journalist after all.



‘I thought he sounded a bit different, but you can’t always tell on the

phone and we started talking about agencies so I just assumed he was

from PR Week,’ recalls Tomkins.



In walked the gentleman’s real lunch date, who was none too impressed by

the mix-up and even more annoyed when the waiter suggested a table for

three. Only when the belated journalist finally arrived did the whole

embarrassing farce come to a close.



But red faces aside, the episode may have done some good. The impostor

turned out to be Alan Thompson, chief executive of marketing and

promotions firm IMP. Handing his card to Tomkins, he hinted that the two

should meet again. Another lunch perhaps?



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