01 June 1998

NEW LABOUR'S old pal's act is much in evidence with appointment of a committee of 'marketing industry gurus'to 'advise, criticise and help with the marketing'of the Millennium Dome. High profile ad names on the committee include Chris Powell (chief executive of BMP DDB Needham, Labour's unofficial ad shop), Jim Faulds of the eponymous Edinburgh agency, and M T Rainey (Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe). Additional appointments are pollster Philip Gould, Center Parcs' managing director Peter Moore, consultant Peter Miller (Collingwood Consultancy) and Matthew Freud (a PR hack). Have we missed any of the great and the good? Tsssk! We almost overlooked Bill Muirhead, M&C Saatchi's Trojan Horse and temporary marketing director of the Dome in its early days. Of Sholto Douglas-Home, recently seconded by BT to become director of marketing communications, there is no mention - though presumably he sits on the committee ex officio [if not ex gratia]. The New Millennium Experience Company hailed the motley crew as 'a think tank of expertise'. The appointments are said to have been 'suggested' by major domo Mandelson, minister without portfolio. [Debrief wonders if the whole farrago is an exquisite plot by Mandy to exact revenge on the Dome's incumbent agency, M&C Saatchi? He may well have been awaiting an opportunity for vengeance on Chas 'n Morrie for the deeply resented pre-election 'Demon-Eyes' campaign.]