Ericsson unveils 20m ad drive

Directors of Argos have rejected a 1.6bn takeover bid from mail order giant Great Universal Stores on the grounds that it ‘fails to recognise the strategic value of Argos, its track record and its future prospects’.

The Inland Revenue says ‘around’ 810,000 people have failed to return their self-assessment tax forms. A fine of 100 is payable on many of these defaulters, which means that the treasury is owed up to 81m. Eight million people did return their forms. Mike Davis, managing director of advertising agency Leagas Shaffron Davis, which devised the ‘Hector the Tax Inspector’ campaign, says: ‘It’s great to see the vast majority of people have done what was needed.’

BSkyB says it will serve a writ on rival media owner Carlton Communications over a 30m debt which is payable as part of a deal to compensate it for withdrawing from the British Digital Broadcasting consortium. Carlton says it will not pay the debt until Sky has secured the digital service rights to show Premier League football, which Carlton claims Sky is contractually obliged to do.

City & Guilds is to launch a press campaign (right), by Doner Cardwell Hawkins, to encourage candidates and employers in key industry sectors to view the qualification as essential to employee development and career progression.

Volkswagen Financial Services is introducing motor-related banking products. It is the next stage in its ultimate aim of entering the UK banking market, a move first revealed in Marketing Week (May 17 1996).

Mars Confectionery UK marketing director Angus Porter will take on the newly-created role of general manager for sugar confectionery with a pan-European remit. Porter will be replaced by European supplier development director Helen Stevenson.

Miller Brewing Company is switching marketing and distribution for Miller Genuine Draft from Matthew Clark to Scottish Courage because of a difference of ‘priorities’. Matthew Clark has handled the brand since 1995.

Airtours has announced that it will take the remaining 20 per cent stake in Belgian tour operator Sun International in addition to the 80 per cent stake it already owns. The company plans to offer holiday packages to the Belgian market and retain current management.

The Halifax is to unveil a new open store design by Retail Planning Associates in seven of its branches.

Marketing Week’s 20th anniversary event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on Tuesday, March 3 will be hosted by TV star Richard Wilson. A limited number of tables are still available at 125 plus VAT per person. Contact Fiona Hitchcock on 0171-970 4772.

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