Ex-Zenith Media managing director Andy Tilley is understood to be planning to set up a media consultancy with Derek Morris, BMP Optimum’s joint managing director, and Ivan Pollard, Weiden & Kennedy Amsterdam’s European media director. The three were unavailable for comment when Marketing Week went to press.

Sears is axing the post of chief executive held by Liam Strong, who is leaving the company after five years. Sears is to demerge Selfridges from the clothes shops and the British Shoe Corporation (BSC). Freemans mail order is being sold to Littlewoods, and company ‘doctor’ David James is being brought in to shake up BSC.

The Data Protection Registrar is close to issuing an enforcement notice against British Gas Trading for unfair and illegal use of its customer database, a spokeswoman says. Southern Electric has been given an extension until May 9 in order to put its case to the DPR.

Bass Taverns is launching a new pub brand called Vintage Inns that aims to promote traditional character, quality food and good service. The 80 pubs involved will keep their own names but will carry a small Vintage Inns sign as an endorsement.

Hoover’s ‘free flights fiasco’ continues next week when Judge Bennett considers whether the company deliberately discouraged applicants from taking up its 1992 ‘Two free flights to America’ offer. Two test cases will be heard in St Helens County Court in Merseyside and a decision in favour of the plaintiffs could cost Hoover dearly (News Analysis, page 22).

Boots has appointed Martin Bryant director of stores at Boots the Chemists (BTC) following the retirement of Ron Glaister. Director of leisure businesses at BTC Stephen Murray will fill the managing director role at Boots Opticians, the post which Bryant has vacated. Peter Burdon will replace Murray and David Roberts will replace Burdon.

Norwich Union launches its flotation ad campaign this week through Saatchi & Saatchi (right). The ad suggests the members’ share offer is so interesting that those who hear about it immediately focus on the offer to the exclusion of all else. Norwich Union is still without a group marketing director, and a spokeswoman says an appointment will be made after the flotation.

Co-operative Retail Services has announced a pre-tax loss of 13.85m in the year to January 25 on sales of 1.54bn. It took an 18.1m charge for refurbishing stores and introducing new own-label brands.

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