Were Leeds’ latest chart sensations the Kaiser Chiefs thinking about their home town’s advertising industry when they wrote signature tune I Predict a Riot? (For those of you who aren’t sure, Leeds is a rather Footballers’ Wives-esque city somewhere north of Watford.)
It seems that, rather than working together to build an agency scene to rival London, the city’s main players are more interested in stealing staff from each other. How else can you explain GratterPalm’s decision to park a video van outside the production department of the city’s big fish, Poulter Partners, with a screen trumpeting the benefits of working at GratterPalm, and advertising vacancies?
According to one observer, Poulter managing partner Mark Buckle was “absolutely apoplectic” and even “went purple”.
Andy Hardwick, Poulters’ head of studio, is more sanguine. Commenting that it is nice to see other agencies recognising that he has all the best staff, he says: “None of them have taken up the offer.”
Warning that GratterPalm had better not try any funny stuff round his way (though readers may notice something about the photo), Julian Kynaston, chairman of Propaganda, another Leeds shop, says: “So many clients are failing to let agencies plug into them at board level, and it’s no surprise at all when they pick up on behaviour like this. It masquerades as a bit of creativity, but the clients just don’t like it.”
Reports that UN peacekeepers from Sheffield-based Dig For Fire have “gone native” and are digging in mortar positions around the Armley Gyratory could not be confirmed as the Diary went to press.