Bisto Foods is to announce that the 80-year-old Bisto Kids characters, its advertising hallmark and a marketing icon, will be axed.

BT has announced cuts of up to 20 per cent on its off-peak calls. Some international calls will also be 25 per cent cheaper. Eight TV ads, by Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO, will support the reductions and feature celebrities like Rory McGrath, Terry Venables and Rolf Harris.

Lever Brothers Europe has hired Sean Gogarty to fill a senior European marketing function covering its European fabric conditioner brands. Gogarty, who is currently new business development director at Dairy Crest, will report to Michel Dallemagne, fabric conditioners category manager at Lever.

Asda is to launch an additional four brands of vitamin supplements to add to its own-label range as part of its campaign against Resale Price Maintenance on over-the-counter (otc) drugs.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Britain should have no control over broadcasters based outside the UK but broadcasting into the UK. The ruling may affect satellite stations on Luxembourg’s Astra system.

API Sponsorship, the international rights selling arm of Alan Pascoe’s The Sponsorship Group, is to handle the worldwide marketing for Benetton Formula One Team until the end of 1997.

London International Group is to launch a new worldwide Website for its brands, including Durex (right). The company has hired new media agency AKQA to develop the Net sites. The agency will work alongside LIG’s 37 international offices on the strategy in what the company claims is the first of its kind (See also New Media, page 22).

The Daily Mail & General Trust’s TV arm confirms it is in talks with BSkyB about launching a lifestyle satellite channel. However, it denies reports that it is in talks with Mirror Group’s Live TV.

Disney has launched an aggressive Christmas TV campaign that will keep its products on air from now until the end of the year. The ads for Disney’s video arm, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, will include Toy Story, 101 Dalmatians, and Muppet Treasure Island.

Iberia Airlines is reported to be considering an alliance with Dutch carrier KLM. Iberia has previously been linked with British Airways and American Airlines.

United News & Media is to shut its regional newspaper printing operation in Manchester and merge it with Express Newspapers’ printing operations.

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