Bates Worldwide has created two new positions. John Fawcett, managing director of George Patterson Bates, Australia, will be chairman of Bates Worldwide Creative Board. Les Stern, formerly strategic planning director of Bates Europe, is now Bates Worldwide planning director.

Aquascutum, the upmarket women’s retailer, has shelved plans to appoint an advertising agency to handle its 1m account. The company originally saw pitches from Young & Rubicam, Leagas Delaney, Cowan Kemsley Taylor and consultancy Stephen Sharp.

Express Newspapers is thought to be looking for a new marketing director after its decision to review its creative agency for the Sunday Express. Managing director Andrew Cameron refused to confirm or deny the speculation.

Interflora has shortlisted The Leith Agency, BMP DDB, Ammirati Puris Lintas, Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and incumbent D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles for its 1m account.

BT continues its battle against the cable operators with the launch of a TV and direct marketing campaign on April 1, aimed at residential customers. The 30-second ads, fronted by Bob Hoskins, are an extension of BT’s existing Friends & Family scheme. But from April, the joining fee of 4.99 will be abolished and the discount doubled to ten per cent.

Orange is believed to be talking to agencies about advertising for its loyalty and membership schemes. The account is currently held by Option One.

M&C Saatchi has been appointed to handle the relaunch of Carlton Communications’ newly acquired cable TV channel, SelecTV. A TV and national press campaign will rebrand the channel as Carlton Select.

Van den Bergh Foods has awarded Ammirati Puris Lintas New York its $20m (13m) Ragu account, which had been with J Walter Thompson for eight years. In the UK, Ragu is already handled by APL.

Omnicom has acquired a 20 per cent stake in the UK-based A Plus Group. This reportedly creates the world’s largest hi-tech PR business with a combined revenue of 25m.

Action Computer Supplies, the mail order company, is talking to advertising agencies about a campaign. Sources claim the account is worth about 500,000.

Penguin Books is to run a six-part national advertising campaign through Total Media for the launch of thriller writer Stephen King’s latest novel, which is being published in six instalments starting next month.

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