Mars Confectionery is to double its marketing spend on the Mars bar to 9m in 1997. D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles’ latest commercial for the bar, featuring a Red Indian, will be launched next week and run for four weeks.

Blimpie, the world’s second-largest sandwich chain, and Allied Leisure are to open five franchised sandwich restaurants in the UK. If successful, Allied Leisure plans to open 100 further outlets.

Homebase, Sainsbury’s DIY chain, is to offer members of its Spend & Save loyalty scheme Air Miles. Sainsbury’s already offers its Reward scheme members Air Miles.

Virgin’s Richard Branson launched his latest publicity stunt this week when he set off in a hot air balloon from Morocco in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

MD Foods has confirmed it is axing its health yogurt Gaio in the UK after poor sales (MW December 20).

British newspapers are four years ahead of target in their use of recycled paper, the Department of Environment announced this week. More than 40 per cent of newsprint is made from recycled paper.

Ken Walker, former deputy director of fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Care, has been appointed director of marketing for The Multiple Sclerosis Society (right).

ITV is to send a delegation to the New York toy fair for the first time because of its ailing share of the toy ad market. The network takes 8.1 per cent of toy TV revenue compared with GMTV’s 37.7 per cent, Channel 4’s 10.2 per cent and the Cartoon Network’s 23 per cent share.

Prince Naseem, the boxer, is to star in an advertising campaign through Leagas Delaney for Adidas trainers. It will coincide with the world featherweight boxing championship fight due to take place on February 8.

Kellogg’s Sustain cereal will feature British tennis star Tim Henman’s winning serves as the theme of a new TV ad campaign. The 30-second ad through J Walter Thompson will be broadcast on BSkyB during the Australian Open.

Henderson Investors, the financial group, has signed a three-year deal to sponsor the Williams motor racing team. The company’s logo will feature on the drivers’ helmets.

Dolland & Aitchison, the high street optician, has adopted a new logo and store design to run alongside a new advertising campaign starring Burt Reynolds and the slogan: “Where everyone gets star treatment.” The new corporate identity has ditched the colours black and red for blue and caramel.

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