Ionica, the telecoms company, says it can give ‘no assurances’ that it can secure the funding it needs to stay in business beyond the start of 1999.

Octagon, the sports marketing agency which last year bought rival agency Advantage International and 60 per cent of Alan Pascoe International, has acquired the TV sports company CSI. This gives it the ability to buy and sell sports events packages of TV rights and sponsorship on a global scale.

United Biscuits has split into two divisions – international and UK – after shedding Smiths Snack Food in Australia to PepsiCo last November. McVitie’s Group will cover international biscuit brands and UK foods will include all UK businesses except McVitie’s in the UK…

…McVitie’s is revamping its Digestive and Homewheat Chocolate Digestive brands (right) with a new visual identity for packaging and biscuit design. jones knowles ritchie developed the new design, which will feature in a 3.5m television and press campaign in April.

Virgin Group has teamed up with US retailer Kinko Inc in a joint venture to launch the UK’s first Kinko retail store today (February 11). The London store will provide a ’round-the-clock’, seven-days-a-week office support service for photocopying, printing, computer hire, Internet access, videoconferencing and couriers.

Nestlé-Rowntree is understood to be launching a new snack brand, consisting of chocolate-covered pretzels.

The Financial Times is linking with coffee maker Whittard of Chelsea in a deal which offers readers discounted coffee, delivered to their doors. The promotion, for which readers will have to collect four FT tokens, launches on February 14.

The Advertising Association has launched an online archive of international advertising legislation and news called European Advertising Briefing. The briefing will be regularly updated and is available through MediaTel, an online UK media news and information database…

…The Advertising Association’s annual luncheon on May 18 is to be addressed by Mark Fisher MP, Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport.

The RSPCA has commissioned a study through market research company RDS Open Mind as part of a branding review.

Leaf, which owns the Chewits and Elizabeth Shaw brands, has separated marketing from sales and manufacturing in a restructure. Leaf Ireland managing director Charles Sproat will also run the UK business.

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