Diary: Direct marketing finally gets its time in the sun

Often overshadowed by the other advertising sectors, it's about time direct marketing had a chance to show off exactly what it has to offer.

So, Diary was pleased to see the IPA offering nine places for budding students to work at some of London's top shops, including Proximity, Rapier, Carat, Personal and RMG Connect, in its inaugural Direct Marketing Summer School.

Lucky pundits will beef up their CV with three months of agency life working across creative, account management and planning departments. A series of evening seminars and social events will cap the days' events. And, as if that wasn't enough, there's a £1,000 cash prize for each winner.

But all of this comes at a price. To enter, candidates must submit a 500-word essay outlining how "the UK's most successful brands are harnessing a multichannel communications strategy to get closer to their customers". Or, for those of a more creative ilk, a 250-word piece "describing the colour red to a blind person". Crikey.