Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is a bit of a gas for Smith

What is it, the Diary wonders, about the Marketing Society that inspires people to start marching up mountains in Africa?

Whatever the reason, it’s a safe bet that talk at the society will be of Gilman’s Point and Uhuru next time the top brass meet.

For former marketing director of British Gas and the chairman of the Marketing Society Nick Smith is safely back in the country after following, literally, in the footsteps of chief executive Hugh Burkitt up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

He conquered the highest peak in Africa last weekend, along with companion Neale Hunt, creative director of the agency Media Therapy.

His triumph comes almost exactly a year after Burkitt made the same arduous trek.

“It was quite the hardest thing I have ever done physically”, says Smith of the tough six-day hike up and down the mountain, where facilities are at a premium. “You can barely breathe up there and going six days without a shave and a shower is something that most of us aren’t used to.”

Still, he and Hunt hope to raise some &£10,000 for the development charity VSO.

The Diary was interested to see that EHS Brann and Clemmow Hornby Inge have both made sizeable contributions.

Both agencies won British Gas accounts when Smith was working there.

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