Dr Mumbo

Death in the morning

"I'm dying here"

“I’m dying here”

There was an awkward irony about an employee of the world’s most sophisticated tech firm running into technical difficulties during his presentation at AdAsia in Hanoi today.

“I’m dying here,” Google Asia Pacific’s creative chief John Merrifield told his audience after 15 agonising minutes waiting for the tech support team to get his presentation to work, during which time he was forced to adlib, recounting the time he spent surfing in Hawaii during a career break.

Poor Merrifield then had to put up with a faulty clicker, a live bird that he had to carry off stage (a straggler from the opening ceremony) and a man in the front row who was chatting loudly on his phone. “Shall I wait until your call finishes?” Merrifield asked the man with remarkable restraint.

The presentation was “the toughest of my life”, said Merrifield, who was the conference’s opening speaker after Howard Draft pulled out because the typhoon prevented him from flying to Hanoi.

“Another dumb way to die,” Merrifield told his audience, after the tech team eventually managed to play the viral hit on the big screen behind him. “Agree to be the first presenter.”

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