Wight off–colour with jokes about the Scots

Mark Beaumont captivated the Pilot Fish Media showcase gathering with tales of recent travels around the world. Picture: Jane Barlow

Mark Beaumont captivated the Pilot Fish Media showcase gathering with tales of recent travels around the world. Picture: Jane Barlow

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BRANDING guru Robin Wight was happy to bat away jibes over his purple dinner jacket at the Marketing Society’s St Andrew’s Day bash at the Balmoral last week.

For a start, it appears to be by far and away his favourite colour – ensuring a distinctive brand perhaps, just like the mobile phone firm he nurtured, Orange.

He was also able to use another marketing trick, pulling at the heart strings, as he explained he got married in the same distinctive attire a year ago.

As the after-dinner speaker Wight then boldly took on the job of explaining to the Scots who St Andrew was, with an emphasis on the innate branding genius of that displayed by Andy and his fellow saints.

He got away with that, but one member of the Business Desk thought he detected a slight ruffling of feathers as the Englishman cracked jokes about the Scots.

Beating drum for agency

Entrepreneur Stephen Gorman obviously likes to go the extra mile, and sprung a surprise at an event showcasing his digital agency Pilot Fish Media.

The firm is being launched on to the wider stage after being set up a year ago to promote some of the Edrington Group’s whiskies in Africa.

Gorman and his business partner Adam Gray brought in explorer and broadcaster Mark Beaumont to tell some inspiring tales of his recent travels around the Commonwealth, and then as their guests at Edinburgh’s Devil’s Cut nightspot relaxed with a Macallan, an African drum band and dance group sprang onto the improvised stage to ensure the evening went with a bang.

Stag still fighting back

Alexander McGregor, the former City trader turned Christmas tree farmer and whisky merchant, had another close escape from his mortal enemy recently.

McGregor already bears the scars from the antlers of a black stag he shot, but failed to kill, at the tender age of 19. His ghillie finished the beast off and its head now adorns the New Town offices of Black Stag Trading, the firm McGregor helped family friend Stephen Brown to set up.

However the creature still appears determined to kill him – it recently dropped from its perch, much like Basil Fawlty’s famous moose, and would have inflicted grievous injury had McGregor not have been briefly away from his desk.

Tam and Bill a dream team

Thursday proved to be the busiest night of the year for awards bashes and black tie dos. The Business Desk found itself a little stretched and apologises wholeheartedly for failing to be in multiple venues at the same time.

Our man did make it along to Grant Thornton’s inaugural Scotland Ltd event at The Hub, a splendid Victorian hall which nestles in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Business journalism legend Bill Jamieson presided over an insightful Q&A session as the audience debated GT’s research into Scotland’s top 100 limited companies.

But Jamieson was merely the warm-up man for star turn Tam Cowan, the irrepressible football pundit and funny man – making the most unlikely pairing since Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito were thrown together in hit comedy Twins. The Off the Ball star was in top form, though most of his jokes are unrepeatable in print. Cowan was quick to point out, however, that he is set up as a limited company himself.

Swede memories of home

YOU can take the boy out of Wishaw, but there’s no guarantee he’ll head for better climes.

SKF chief executive Tom Johnstone has lived abroad for the past 28 years, having originally joined the Swedish industrial giant’s former plant in Irvine as a graduate trainee in 1977.

Through the years he has travelled home regularly, both for work and family commitments, in what appears to be a smooth transition.

“Ah,” he said recently, gazing out on to the dreich streets, “another lovely day in Glasgow. Gothenburg weather is exactly the same.”

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