Mitchell and Partners’ big kahuna Harold Mitchell will carry
on as a columnist for fortnightly advertising industry publication Adnews
despite news surfacing that its editor was behind an April Fools’ Day press
release hoax. The hoax release, sent at the end of the day to Adnews‘ weekly
rival B&T last Friday, announced the media agency had been sold to Sensis.

It’s understood B&T unsuccessfully attempted to contact
Mitchell, who was overseas, before unsuccessfully trying to contact colleague
Stuart Mitchell in Sydney
and then having no luck with Sensis’ public affairs people. So the story went up on the B&T website and needless to
say, Mitchell – a long-standing Adnews columnist – was unamused after previously
giving assurances he’d never sell out.

Mitchell cleared the air today over whether his relationship
with Adnews had soured to the point of severing ties with the mag. “It’s all in the past now,” Mitchell told Crikey. “I’m going
to continue writing my column for Adnews just like I have for the past 25
years.”

And Mitchell also said that earlier litigation that B&T
were threatened with by his company’s lawyers would not proceed, repeating
again that all was “in the past”. B&T had been forced to retract the story and removed it
from its website, while the IT boffins uncovered the source of the document,
linking it directly to an Adnews journalist and forcing editor David
Clutterbuck to come clean and apologise.

“It was a very unwise decision to play an April Fool in
that manner. Obviously, we recognise it was a stupid thing to do and we have
apologised to Mitchell,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW