British Airways (right) is putting contracts out to tender this week to twelve global financial services companies to work with its new unit early next year. The new division (MW June 14) will offer credit card facilities, mutual funds and off-shore banking. Citibank and Robert Fleming are understood to be lead contenders for the accounts. The bidders will have four weeks to submit their proposals for consideration to the BA board.

Safeway is to launch a new range of household cleaners under the brand name Vecta. It will include 40 cleaning products. The Vecta launch is the latest in a series of Safeway’s own label products, which have included Safeway Cyclon, Safeway Select and Oracle.

L’Oreal is to launch a shampoo and conditioner range in the UK following its successful launch in Europe. The new range, called Jean-Louis David, will be positioned as a premium brand. It is expected to go up against salon brands such as Paul Mitchell and Vidal Sassoon’s Salon Collection.

ASH, the anti-smoking lobby, has attacked the voluntary agreement on tobacco promotion for ‘a major loophole’ which allows cigarette ads to be put up near nursery schools. Ads are banned from being placed near all other schools.

Virgin has hired Paul Steele, vice-president for marketing at Hilton Hotels, to work at its cola division.

Highland Distillers has hired chairman of J&B whisky, David Maxwell Scott, as its sales and marketing director. He will also be managing director of Matthew Gloag.

Allied Domecq is to launch a 25m marketing push throughout Europe to reposition its Ballantine whisky brand for a younger market. The drive will involve a new advertising campaign highlighting the brand’s affinity with younger consumers, and sponsorship deals with youth events.

Punch magazine will have print run of over 1 million when it launches next month. The magazine is to be mailed free to hundreds of thousands of credit-card holders.

Guinness says the black lager it is testing in three bars is called Strang, and has an alcoholic strength of five per cent.

The Gaming Board has turned down Scratch & Win’s application to run Keno, a video bingo game, in pubs and betting shops across the UK.

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