“Every agency had its maverick wild man by then: whether it was Robert Brownjohn lying unconscious on heroin at JWT or Bob Brooks attacking account executives at Benton and Bowles. What was different about PKL was that gross misbehaviour was not the exception but the rule. Visitors to that year’s Christmas party approached the Sloane Square venue with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. None of them was prepared for what they found when they walked through the doors. Blood splattered the desks, walls and carpets of the boardroom. All around, some of the industry’s brightest young stars desperately mopped and scrubbed at the horrific mess, wearing palefaced expressions of astonishment. It was perhaps inevitable that PKl’s first Christmas party would feature mass bloodshed.
The blood was that of agency chairman Nigel Sealey. His assailant was Tony Palladino, the American art director who had been dispatched by the New York office to set up their London operation. He had quickly helped establish a band of would-be British admen who were desperate to learn the secrets of American advertising. The young recruits generated a heady atmosphere of intense competitiveness and rampant hedonism. At the Christmas party, tensions spilled over quickly. ‘Tony decided he was going to thump Nigel,’ remembers Peter Mayle.
‘Before anyone could stop him he’d made a lunge at Nigel, who was holding a glass of wine. Instinctively, he raised his hand to shield his face but Tony’s fist rammed the glass into his throat. It got him right in the jugular and blood started spurting out everywhere. We managed to stem the bleeding and get him off to Accident and Emergency where, somehow, they managed to save his life. Meanwhile, the rest of us were left to scrub the entire boardroom of his blood.'”
— (via Get Smashed!)