Global TeleSystems Group is to buy Esprit Telecom for 458m in a deal that will create a 2.5bn telecom company with a pan-European network.

Graham Fish, Alberto Culver group vice-president Europe, Middle East and Africa has resigned after 19 years. He will remain with the company until March 1999.

Visa International has appointed Peter Crombie as global head of Visa Multinational, responsible for multinationals and global card programmes.

New lemon-flavoured gin Bloomsby will be supported by a 1m promotional campaign through marketing agency Bds Beechwood. The campaign will run on national radio, outdoor posters, and supermarket trolleys

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has agreed to grant independent software companies access to certain intellectual property rights as a result of a European Commission investigation into the licensing practices of video games suppliers. It follows similar successful investigations into Sega and Nintendo, two other leading suppliers.

Mencap has appointed non-executive director of Marks & Spencer and former deputy chairman of Guinness, Brian Baldock, as chairman to replace Lord Rix, who becomes president.

Canadian Airlines has appointed Gary Cross as managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa. He was previously general manager UK and Ireland.

The German Wine Institute, the only marketing body for the German wine industry, is to launch a estimated 1m advertising campaign in the UK for the first time. The account is being handled by Phipps PR, which has appointed Bean Andrews Norways Cramphorn to develop the creative work.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been signed up by publisher Eidos to appear in advertising for its computer game title Championship Manager 3.

Fred Perry has appointed Kevin Stone as sales and marketing director. Stone joins from underwear company HOM, where he was sales and marketing manager for six years.

The Patent Office has posted the UK Trade Marks Register on the Internet. Web browsers can check the status of a trade mark at www.prowse.co.uk/ newsf.html.

The Virgin Cola Company is to relaunch the Virgin Vodka Flyer, a bottled drink consisting of Virgin Vodka and carbonate Virgin Hi-Energy.

Norton Healthcare has appointed Ian Clarke as commercial director with responsibility for new business development and international sales and marketing.

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