DIARY: A thirst for Wildbrew leaves designer with no lead in his Pencil

Whether it's pilfering creative ideas or whipping coveted awards

off winning tables, adland is full of thieving pranksters.

In time-honoured tradition, a yellow Pencil walked during the recent

D&AD Awards ceremony, prompting Simon Porteous, a freelance designer at

Williams Murray Hamm, to crawl into work the next day wiping away tears.

He'd won it for his work on the alcopop brand Wildbrew.

To add insult to injury, a cryptic envelope later turned up containing a

menacing ransom note demanding 500 bottles of said concoction in return

for the gagged and bound Pencil.

WMH's creative director, Garrick Hamm, told of a night of booze and

celebration, during which he cunningly asked his wife to take his Pencil

home before things got too messy. Not so the hapless Porteous. "He got

up to have a boogie and beers and when he reeled back to the table, his

precious ornament had been swiped," Hamm sighed.

Porteous has moved on to pastures new and still nurses the hope that his

beloved Pencil will be returned safe and sound. Hamm, meanwhile, is

manning the postroom, and priming the client for a rather large favour.