Digests

AT&T unit Liberty Media is to buy eight per cent of global media giant News Corporation in a $2.1bn (1.3bn) deal. Liberty holds interests in networks such as the Discovery Channel and has assets in telephony and video distribution.

Barclaycard is to test a new credit card in Leeds, which allows holders to download and store money and to access account information using a mobile phone. The trial, which is being run with Cellnet, combines two existing tests in Leeds…

…Barclaycard will broadcast its first TV and press advertising campaign since reappointing BMP DDB to the account last November. The push launches at the end of April.

Eastern Electricity, Eastern Natural Retail and Eastern Electricity & Natural Gas are all being renamed Eastern Energy.

Lloyds Bank Insurance Direct will be renamed ‘insuredirect from Lloyds TSB’ from this week.

Budgens, the high street supermarket chain, is to ban genetically modified ingredients from its own-label range by the end of the year.

Mars Confectionery has entered a licensing deal with McVitie’s, which is to produce Galaxy and Milky Way cake bars.

PPP Healthcare and Lloyds Pharmacy have linked with BBC TV Airport star Jeremy Spake, who will front the launch of a new range of travel insurance products.

Sharwood’s and Sun Valley Foods will launch co-branded chilled meals, called the Stir-Fry Chicken range, which consist of three stir-fry flavours, Peking, Malaysian and Thai sweet chilli.

Ladbrokes is launching a new poster campaign through Peter Kane & Co for its betting shop windows to highlight the main events of the sporting calendar.

Trebor Bassett has launched Bassett’s Fundays, a 25-strong confectionery range, branded by design agency Wickens Tutt Southgate.

Unilever has signed a licensing deal with Nautica Apparel to market a global portfolio of fragrance and beauty products.

Costa Coffee, the Whitbread-owned coffee chain, is planning to open 50 new outlets in the coming year.

Scoot, the telephone and Internet directory, will supply interactive services to Cable & Wireless Communications’ digital TV platform.

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