Embarrassment all round at the recent Pastmaster’s Dinner, the annual
charity event organised by some 250 senior business folk who used to
work at Mars.
This year’s after-dinner address was given by The Right Honourable The
Lord Saatchi, whose speech can broadly be summarised as ‘Gosh, Mars is
brilliant’. This was judged by some people as a trifle insensitive,
given that not everybody present left Mars on the jolliest of terms.
It is no surprise that Lord Mo rates Mars, especially since Forrest Mars
fired the Saatchi group as a protest against the events of two years
But when Maurice heaped praise on the company for its global marketing,
some of his audience saw red.
In fact Ted Horton, now running Ted Horton Product Innovation, could not
help getting to his feet and barracking Saatchi with an eloquently-
phrased interruption. ‘Bollocks,’ he shouted, and went on to remind
everyone of the Snickers/Marathon and Twix/Raider peculiarities, neither
of which are outstanding examples of brilliant global planning.
By all accounts, Saatchi handled the interruption with great aplomb,
although reports vary as to who got the most applause at the end of his
speech. The Pastmaster’s letterhead explains that ‘A Pastmasters dinner
a year, helps you network and eat’. Now they can add ‘And alienate an
entire roomful of new business prospects’.