Why Mandy has ads in the blood

Peter Mandelson’s love affair with the world of advertising is well known. But the Diary can now offer an insight into where the affair began, more than 50 years ago, even before the ex-Prince of Spin was a glint in his father’s eye.

For Mandy has a previously unknown connection to Bates Dorland. It was in 1946 at the offices of Dorlands Advertising, as it was known then, that Mandy’s mum and dad met for the first time. His father Tony – described by Mandelson’s unofficial biographer Paul Routledge as “a handsome, flamboyant account executive” – met his mother Mary in the agency’s central London offices.

Tony left Dorlands to become assistant general manager at The Jewish Chronicle in 1947, having grown sceptical of the world of advertising. But not so son Peter, although M&C Saatchi’s opening advertisement for his beloved Millennium Dome is probably the last ad campaign Mandy will be in a position to buy for some time.

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