A friend of mine, Barry Smith, was financial director of Shires Bathrooms in the early 1990s. I was always careful to separate my personal relationships from any possible commercial ones, and although as an agency we had targeted bathroom manufacturers as potential new clients, I hadn't mentioned it to Barry. We had done some substantial research into the bathroom market and undertaken group discussions. We had asked over 50 homeowners what they thought of magazine advertisements for the likes of Adamsez, Ideal Standard, Armitage Shanks, Plumb Center, Shires and Twyfords. I had written to the managing directors, marketing directors and marketing managers of these companies and explained ...

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