Ford to take on insurance companies

Ford Credit, the finance arm of the US motor giant, is claiming a UK first by launching Ford-branded car insurance for its customers. The scheme, which will launch this autumn in the UK’s 6bn motor insurance market, will be available through the Ford Dealer network to new and existing customers. Ford customers will be able […]

Opportunity knocks for digital

Who is going to win the digital TV war in the UK? I believe there is the opportunity for all three digital TV platforms to succeed within the next five years. Why? Because the three platforms and their respective brands each have unique values, providing a competitive advantage in the race to sign up customers. […]

Firemen rescue JWT art show

The Diary was hobnobbing with the art world at a recent Slade undergraduate exhibition at J Walter Thomson’s offices in Berkeley Square. The canapés were great, but there was a distinct lack of talent – particularly following the departure of the agency’s luscious marketing director Mark Robinson, who left to celebrate his 22nd wedding anniversary. […]

Own label pauses for breath

The apparently inexorable rise of own label within Britain’s multiple grocers seemed to level off in 1997, with the latest ACNielsen State of the Nation survey showing that penetration within the major multiples held steady at 55.3 per cent of unit sales for the year to the end of December 1997. Most observers agree, however, […]

Sky taps new profit stream

Urbane, relaxed and charming are words that sit easily with Barry Norman but not with Sky. However, that is where the film critic announced he was moving to last week after 26 years as the nation’s arbiter of film taste at the BBC. His decision is symptomatic of the shift happening at Sky TV as […]

Mother in Van den Bergh win

Mother, the agency set up by ex-GGT creative director Robert Saville, is set to win the Van Den Bergh Foods Batchelors Pasta n’ Sauce account from Ammirati Puris Lintas. Mother and APL were asked by Unilever-owned Van Den Bergh Foods to pitch for the 1.3m account. It is understood that their work was put into […]

Only time will tell if online sales can overcome the ‘pay barrier’

At speeds close to the speed of sound, there is a large, sudden increase of drag, known as the sound barrier. When test pilots plummeted from the sky on first encountering this invisible and enigmatic obstacle, it shocked the world. At a point in online retail close to the transaction, there is a large, sudden […]

Clorets takes on Smint with ‘mini mint’ brand

Clorets, the breath freshener from Warner Lambert, is entering the “mini mint” market with the launch of Clorets Powerful Mints. The mints, which are scheduled to launch this autumn, will cost about 1 – the same price as Chupa Chups-owned rival brand Smint. Nestlé launched a mini version of its Polo mint earlier this month, […]

BBC backs launch of latest digital radio sets

Five radio manufacturers are to launch their new digital radio sets to retailers from the BBC’s Broadcasting House next month. The Corporation denies it is endorsing the products, which would breach its public service remit. It says it is receiving no payment for initiating and organising the collective launch for the five manufacturers, who will […]

Never trust a man with a bow tie

Now I know why I am being pursued by Mr Richard Woolford, senior bureaucrat at TV Licensing, who has repeatedly threatened me with knocks on the door, a fine of up to 1,000, and a criminal record, should I fail to meet his demand to pay forthwith the sum of 96, this despite my having […]

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