The European Commission has ruled that Anheuser-Busch, manufacturer of Budweiser lager, will not be able to secure perimeter rights for the 1998 World Cup in France. The EC has backed strict French public health laws that forbid TV advertising or sponsorship of alcohol and cigarette products.

BMW says it is to invest 600m in the Rover Group this year. The spend is part of a move to make the group profitable by the year 2000.

The Daily Telegraph has signed a year-long advertising deal with BSkyB, which will see the newspaper advertised around the broadcaster’s major live sports coverage.

The Office of Fair Trading has asked the British Retail Consortium to revise its code on extended electrical goods warranties, to provide greater consumer protection.

Smirnoff is about to unveil its latest global ad, which features a couple being chased by an evil villain and his gang (right). According to Smirnoff, the fast-moving Technicolor ad, developed by Lowe Howard-Spink, has the feel of a movie blockbuster like Mission Impossible.

First Choice, the holiday company, has restructured its management. Kevin Ivie, currently marketing and planning director, will become commercial director with overall responsibility for marketing. Philippa Harris has been promoted to marketing director from head of product development. She will report to Ivie.

Sony will join British Airways’ Air Miles scheme from the end of this month.

Whitbread Inns has appointed Safeway’s former customer service controller, Katharine Sheath, as director of food marketing.

Mobile phone operators have come under fire for charging too much for calls from fixed lines to mobiles. A paper published this week by regulator Oftel says charges should be reduced by 10p a minute.

Professor Luc Montagnier, the French scientist who discovered Aids, stars in the first of a new series of ads developed by Bartle Bogle Hegarty for Time International magazine. The ad is set in the Tunisian desert and features the slogan, ‘Time, step out of your world’.

Taylor Nelson AGB, the market research company, has announced a decrease in pre-tax profits, after exceptional items, to 5m in 1996, from 6.5m in 1995. Turnover for the period rose 12 per cent to 84.2m.

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