British Airways’ proposed alliance with American Airlines cannot go ahead because it would be anti-competitive, says the European Commission. However, the British competition authorities, which have approved the deal, argue they have primacy in the matter.

Levi’s (right) is struggling to maintain its strong hold on the jeans market, according to the latest reports on the denim sector from Taylor Nelson AGB Fashion Trak and AC Nielsen. Taylor Nelson’s quarterly report suggests Levi’s market share has fallen five per cent overall in the past year and a further 2.5 per cent in the past six months. AC Nielsen shows its market share to have fallen from 27.4 last year to 24.3 in the past six months. The lost share is being captured by designer and own-label brands.

Paul Twivy is to join the BBC as a consultant. He will help to co-ordinate a review of BBC branding, communications and customer services.

Heinz is restructuring its European reporting system in an effort to improve category management. The Heinz businesses throughout Europe will be divided into grocery, infant feeding, weight control, foodservice and tuna. Each unit will report to its country head, who in turn will report to the relevant European division.

Prêt Manger, the chain of upmarket sandwich shops, is understood to be looking for its first marketing director.

Interflora’s plans to boost the high street presence of its brand have been put on hold following the overthrow of the board. Proposals on the table included offering members the services of a design consultant for in-store branding. Currently, members can choose how heavily the Interflora branding is carried, beyond a required minimal level.

The Churches’ Advertising Network, a Christian advertising group, is planning to launch an international TV ad campaign to celebrate the Millennium. It will discuss ideas for the campaign at a conference this week.

Scottish Courage is pulling its premium US lager Coors out of key outlets in the North of England and Scotland and replacing it with French premium lager Kronenbourg 1664. The strategy reinforces Kronenbourg 1664’s position in the Scottish Courage portfolio as its leading premium national lager brand.

Associates Capital Corporation, the credit card issuer, has appointed Stephen Leonard, Lloyds TSB senior marketing manager, as its new general manager for UK marketing and sales. Associates is a majority-owned subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company, and issuer of Budgens’ credit card.

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