Diary: On the QT ...

We're always being warned about keeping our mobiles and laptops out of sight when out and about but whoever heard of anybody being robbed of a direct marketing gift pack?

Well, it has just happened to the Publicis account handler David Balko. The agency had put together a package for a few people containing gifts and product information as an introduction to its business and Balko was sent forth to spread some joy with it. However, as he was striding across the Paddington Station concourse, someone took it upon himself to nick the package and leg it. Balko decided not to give chase. The box contained a bottle of Courvoisier and some Garnier Ultralift eye cream. Police are combing London for a drunk with wrinkle-free eyes ...

Despite last year's acquisition of his company by Thomson Intermedia, John Billett shows no sign of slowing down. The veteran auditor is, however, developing his interests outside media measurement. The Diary hears he's constructing a conservation meadow at his Norfolk estate. And the former chorister, who confesses his voice isn't what it was, is taking singing lessons for the first time in years ...

Is there no end to Tamara Ingram's talent? The Grey London chief executive turned up on BBC2's Newsnight discussing buzz marketing while playing table tennis. And she didn't miss a stroke ...

There was some confusion as to why Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners wouldn't send Campaign its new Branston baked beans commercial to feature in The Work. That is until we discovered it was called "singing tin". Perhaps our ribbing about all its song-and-dance ads has finally got too much ...

A new phrase has entered agency slang. Getting your Duckworth out means to raise your fin when in pursuit of a member of the opposite sex. It is derived from the once popular expression "to go sharking".

This is now used only by sad fortysomething admen.

Topics