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Diary: On the QT ..

The Diary isn't naming names in this tale in order to protect an absent-minded procurement person.

But having failed to make contact with the client whose business it had been invited to pitch for, one UK agency decided to pull out of the race. So it sent an e-mail to the procurement person in charge a week before the pitch was due, saying it was withdrawing. So imagine the scene when the client turned up at the agency for a presentation only to be told they wouldn't be getting one. "They were extremely charming about it," an agency manager says. Bet they weren't quite so charming to the procurer ...

A story of dedication reaches us from Grey, where a pitch team had to be evacuated in the early hours of the morning last week because of a fire. Having no idea when they would be allowed back into the building and minus the pitch documents they needed before their flight, they broke in and finished the job. Let's hope the would-be client didn't tell them to go to blazes ...

Halifax, whose HBOS parent has just fallen into the arms of Lloyds TSB, is still running those "Woke up this morning feeling fine" surfer spots. Howard Brown, their grinning star, is certainly feeling fine. The Sun reports he's just paid £785,000 for a farmhouse in Worcestershire ...

Who should turn out to be the voiceover for the promotional film for the Westfield Centre, which opens in Shepherd's Bush at the end of the month? None other than that famous Brummie, Trevor Beattie ...

You wouldn't want to find yourself downwind of Charles Saatchi these days. His wife, Nigella Lawson, has just revealed the secret of Charles' new slimline figure - a diet of nine eggs a day and nothing else ...

A small faux pas in the launch briefing notes drawn up by Arnold UK. It claims the US-based network was founded by Ed Eskandarian in 1946. Alas, Arnold was founded by Arnold Rosoff. Eskandarian bought it in 1990.

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