Digests

SmithKline Beecham has announced 3,000 jobs are to be cut in a restructuring initiative to be completed in 2002 which aims to cut 750m from overheads. The company is sharpening its focus on pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare. Sales for the year ended December 31, excluding currency, were up seven per cent to 8.375m and pre-tax profits rose ten per cent to 1.77bn.

Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher shares climbed this week after the High Court ruled that smokers must bring compensation claims for ill health against tobacco companies within three years of diagnosis.

The Evening Standard’s ES supplement is being relaunched this week following the appointment of a new editor Louise Chunn, former deputy editor of Vogue.

The future of Marston Thompson & Evershed’s marketing team is uncertain following a takeover by regional brewer Wolverhampton & Dudley. Advertising agency Walsh Trott Chick Smith was appointed to Marston’s Pedigree last year, Wolverhampton’s Banks’ Bitter is handled by Partners BDDH and Harp lager is still handled by Publicis after Guinness passed the marketing of the brand in the UK to Wolverhampton last year.

Sainsbury’s is to use John Cleese to front a new campaign backing the 1999 Comic Relief Red Nose appeal. The ads, which were devised by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, break on February 14.

HP Bulmer has bought three cider brands from South African-based W & A Gilbey for 2.3m. The company has launched Woodpecker Export cider, which has an alcohol content by volume of 4.7 per cent.

The Halifax is to offer a range of ISA products including a Capital Gains Tax mini-cash ISA, while the Co-op retail chain will offer ISAs through its relationship with The Co-operative Bank. ISAs launch on April 6.

UDV UK has appointed Philip Almond marketing controller of its Smirnoff range and Mark Breene as marketing controller of gins.

Anheuser-Busch has announced a deal over several years with the National Basketball Association, which makes Budweiser the NBA’s official ‘beer’. The company has rights to use collectively all 29 NBA team names and logos, as well as those of the league, the NBA All-star game, Playoffs and Finals.

House of Fraser, the upmarket department store, is to open a 100,000 sq ft outlet at a new 85m retail development in High Wycombe, Surrey.

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