Umbro is tipped to retain its kit sponsorship deal with the English Football Association in the face of stiff competition from Nike. An official announcement by the FA is expected within the next fortnight.

Reebok is to be official kit sponsor to the Australian Olympic team in the forthcoming Sydney 2000 summer games. The deal also covers kit branding for games officials.

House of Fraser is to invest 5.5m in renovating its Barkers department store in Kensington, London. It will be a ‘showpiece’ for the group’s new merchandise strategy.

EMI, the record company, registered sales of almost 8 million Spice Girls’ records during the first half of the year, compared with 8 million in the last financial year, according to results out this week. But the company still reported reduced half-year profits, which it blamed on the flat state of the international music market and a strong pound.

Lynx, the deodorant, is about to play on innocent childhood memories by running a print advertising campaign, featuring a series of smutty innuendoes about cherished childhood heroes. The ads, by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, will run in men’s titles such as FHM and Loaded. Targets include the Trumpton Police of Camberwick Green (above): ‘Cuthbert’s hose seemed to have a life of its own’.

Jewson, the builders merchant, has joined the Argos Premier Points loyalty scheme. Points will be awarded when purchases are made using the Jewson Visa card.

Alldays Stores is to install Bank of Scotland cash machines in 150 of its 759 shops from the new year.

Nestlé is teaming up with The Simpsons for a Kit Kat promotion offering the chance to win 20,000 in The Homer Draw. A national press advertising and poster campaign will break in January.

Yakult, the Japanese health drink company, has signed a 500,000 sponsorship deal with the Royal Academy to fund its outreach programme for schools.

Cadbury Schweppes has bought French confectioner La Pie Qui Chante for 38m from food giant Danone.

Cable & Wireless Communications is extending its 50p weekend call price cap for all long-distance calls anywhere in the UK to the Christmas period. The scheme was one of the first initiatives introduced as part of the company’s estimated 50m launch campaign. A TV and press campaign launches on Monday to explain the extension.

Eagle Star has put through-the-line agency Brann on its advertising roster.

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