ONE HAMPSHIRE man has a novel idea how to get ahead in the highly competitive world of advertising - bombard company bosses with quirky messages and then hammer a giant poster of yourself outside their front door.

That's what did the trick for advertising graduate David Rose who wanted a job with Southampton marketing agency Lawton so much that he would not take no for an answer.

In order to persuade bosses to hire him, the 29-year-old first sent them a jack-in-the-box, with a picture of himself inside and the legend "Sometimes you don't have to think out of the box to get the right answer."

He followed that up with a pair of wine bottles, the first bearing a recorded message saying hello' and the second designed to look like a message in a bottle with a note inside with burned edges and deliberately aged with gravy.

His piece de resistance followed, when he was inspired to install a five-foot tall poster on the roundabout opposite Lawton's Grosvenor Square offices. Complete with a picture of himself aged six, it said "when I grow up I want to work at Lawton".

Bosses caved in and gave him the six-month contract he'd been angling for, even though they didn't have any job vacancies.

"I thought it would go one way or the other. They would either get a court injunction or they'd give me the job," said David, a former Southampton Solent University student who lives in Fareham.

"It is a difficult industry to get into. As a creative you have to go further and do more. Just showing my face regularly wasn't good enough. You need to do something that gets you noticed."

David, who started yesterday, says he is "over the moon" his unusual application got the thumbs up.

Lawton director Matt Lawton said: "He made me chuckle and I had to acknowledge that this is what the business is about.

"Even if you've got the talent you need the application and the hunger to get a result. Hopefully he'll do well and make it impossible for us not to extend his contract."