Vodafone Group plc is to appoint Chris Gent as chief executive to replace Sir Gerald Whent at the end of the year. Gent is currently managing director of Vodafone Ltd.

Orange is launching a multimillion pound ad campaign to promote its image as the consumer’s friend. The mobile phone operator will unveil its “pre-agreement checklist” later this week in press ads. It offers potential mobile phone buyers a list of questions to ask any salesperson before purchasing (see Leader, page 5).

Steven Smith, group managing and finance director of The Birkdale Group owned by Kevin Morley, will join the board of the Photobition Group next month as group finance director. He will remain with The Birkdale Group as company secretary and group financial controller.

Kraft Jacobs Suchard’s director of coffee marketing, Nick Shepherd, has been promoted to general manager of Kraft’s coffee and food business. He replaces Brian Carlisle, who has been appointed managing director of the company’s UK business.

Manchester United Football Club has launched a lager called Red Tribe, brewed and distributed by Charles Wells.

Unison, the public service union, and the NHS Support Federation have commissioned a campaign highlighting the plight of nurses (right). It mocks the Tories’ ‘devil eyes’ poster attacking Tony Blair.

The Burton Group is planning to introduce cosmetics and toiletry products throughout its stores if the launch of the Top Shop range is successful say analysts.

Blockbuster Video has reorganised its management team and promoted Roger Hall from advertising manager to head of UK marketing.

The number of dialling codes on which premium rate telephone services are offered has increased as has the cost of calling these lines. Telephone services watchdog Icstis is publishing a full list of the new codes and call charges.

Virgin Cola says AC Nielsen figures show it has gained volume sales of one per cent between June and August compared with the same period last year, while Pepsi and Coke’s volume sales have fallen by 13 and nine per cent respectively. Pepsi admits falling volumes but says its market share is up since the Project Blue relaunch in April, while Coke rejects the figures.

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