DIARY: Australian egg-chase extravaganza arouses an ugly media scrum

Rugby. Hands up who's sick of it. This bloody World Cup has been going on for more than a month already and there is still a week left to go.

Not everybody thinks this way, though. There are many people in our industry alone who would crawl over dead relatives to get tickets for the final.

Fortunately, they don't have to go to such extremes - not when there are media owners at hand to wangle them good seats in Sydney.

This year's biggest freeloader is MindShare, which will be very well represented in Australia next week. Its head of investment, Nick Theakstone, has made the journey courtesy of Granada, while his chief executive, Kelly Clark, will be a guest of News International.

It's not just agency folk, either. Clients such as Nestle's Andrew Harrison and Nike's Jack Gold will also make the trip, thanks to the flexible purse-strings of Rupert Murdoch's media empire. They will be accompanied by the Scottish Courage brands director, John Botia, who owes his pitch-side seat to Granada.

Alas, poor old Graham Duff will not be able to make it. As the newly appointed managing director designate of ITV Sales, he will be too busy getting to grips with his new role to attend.

What a shame. Duff was probably cheering Wales in last week's quarter-finals - an early exit by the English would have made his enforced absence a lot easier to bear.

Come to think of it, supporting Wales might not be a bad idea - it would help Duff ingratiate himself with his new boss, Mick Desmond.


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