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Hirsute’s you, sir

It is traditional to hand out the most prestigious awards in financial services at this time of the year – the Money Marketing Diary awards.

First up is the hotly competed Beard of the Year. This was close really close. In second place comes the only man to be named after his own beard – Hargreaves Landown’s very own Ben Beardsley. But nothing could rival investment journalist and publisher Kieran Root’s fantastic sprouting chinful of hair which he grew for a part in Fiddler On The Roof. No better beard has been seen for some years this side of the Urals.

Most Unbashful PR Act of the Year goes to the shy and retiring former director general of the CBI Digby Jones for a press release where Digby Jones welcomed the appointment of Digby Jones to the role of Government Skills tsar.

Turning to PR Gaffe of the Year, Penrose’s Ben Larter gets first place as the only person to phone during the Budget speech. Doh. He also might have won for sideburns of the year which were a fine pair until he shaved them off. Boo.

Dance Move and Dan Misjudgment of the Year goes to one errant reporter from an unProfessional rival who managed to nut New Star’s Hasselhoff lookalike Rob Page, inflicting a black eye. If this man is dancing, or drinking, get out of there.

But who wins the prestigious title of Drinkers of the Year? No, not party monsters, chocolate-licking Edeus. Not fill your boots with your hollow legs Selestia (Sorry Selestia Skandia) not those inveterate Perpetual drinkers, nor even Positively Pissed Solutions. Nope. This year, the ones to avoid if on antibiotics are clearly Kim North, Jo Smith and Pam Mann. Two of them used to work together but they can certainly still drink together. What on earth was going on with downing rose wine from shot glasses? You have been warned.

The most hotly contested category is Money Marketing’s Party of the Year. In third place is the ever-reliable, ever-drunken and past winner Lansons, where the big news apparently was that one editor was seen to smile all night and not scowl and even made a grinning appearance in the after-party newsletter. A party newsletter? Aren’t they just so organised.

In second place is Lifesearch – Deal or no Deal, Karaoke, tears at bedtime, journeys to that late-night abyss and mobile phone graveyard as Tiger Tiger, projectile (oh well, we’d better not go there).

In first place, of course, and the undisputed winner is the Resolution Asset Management launch party. Some sources say there was a £1m spend on fireworks on the roof of Coq D’Argent. There was also a David Bowie soundtrack and a host who really knows how to party, Sir Jonathan Polin.

Blood was spilt – well, a reporter from a downmarket rival cut his finger – there was a snogging couple in the bushes although MM has since learned that there was more than one snogging couple. Snogging couples take note – fireworks tend to light up everything. Doh. Two dreadful oleaginous salesmen from fee evangelist title New “Model, Actress, Singer” Adviser nearly got pitched over the wall by an irate MM editor for slandering all the MM journalists for “only writing press releases”. Not this paper, guys. Clear off and lie about someone else, will you.

So, well done, Polin, the award is yours. According to legend, Polin, while working at a big bank, once went through his annual PR budget in two months. But what are you going to do next year, Jonathan, to keep the accolade and, more important, what are you going to spend?


Open season on closed books

Mergers and acquisitions, demutualisations, closed funds and departing chief executives slugged it out for the headlines in an eventful year for the life industry.After a long running saga, the Standard Life demutualisation vote went ahead on May 31 and after 98 per cent of its members said yes, the 181-year-old firm finally waved goodbye to […]

Mixed messages

Scottish Widows marketing director for protection Nick Kirwan says the industry has been delivered a heavy blow over pension term assurance and with nobody knowing what is round the corner, the wrong messages are being sent out to customers.

Out of Context for 2006

“I didn’t get my James Bond physique by eating a second chocolate after the meal.”Norwich Union PR guru Dave Gwyer impresses his dining companions“I am absolutely ravishing.”Skandia PR Alex Jones struggles to find the right word to say he is hungry “The only thing that I’m wearing that is not from Oxfam are my knickers […]

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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