20 November 1997

Virgin plans Net shopping

Richard Branson has unveiled plans to open up Virgin-branded travel, financial and music businesses to electronic shopping by the end of next year. Virgin Megastore will be the first Virgin-badged business to enter the e-commerce sector, although it is owned by WH Smith. It will give consumers online access to the chain’s catalogue of CDs, […]

Crook aims spotlight at criminals

A cliché might be a cliché and the Diary is fully aware that a name is a name is a name. – But sometimes a trip to Somerset House with deed poll application form in hand is called for.

Digests

– Camelot has announced half-year profits before tax of 34.8m, up ten per cent on the same period in the previous year, with sales climbing 17.

Channel 4 slammed by ITC for product placement gaffe

Production staff on Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks have been warned to avoid giving further “undue prominence” to brands, after an Independent Television Commission ruling that the Caffrey’s beer brand has been excessively exposed on the show. The public rebuke is the second time in three months that the ITC has found a broadcaster guilty of […]

Simons puts the record straight

The Dairy is a stickler for accurary, so last week it was pleased to receive written clarification on how to refer to TBWA Simons Palmer Ltd. Abbreviations such as TBWA, TBWA Simons or TBWA SP are simply unacceptable. However, should page constraints make a shorter version unavoidable, the agency may be referred to as Simons […]

Littlewoods bid for Sears blocked

Littlewoods’ 367.5m bid to buy Sears-owned Freemans has been blocked by the Government, following the recommendation by the Monopoly & Mergers Commis-sion that the merger would be against the public interest. The decision of Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, positions Littlewoods and Freemans in the agency sector of the home shopping market […]

Alchemy must get DIY formula right

Alchemy has made ambitious claims that it will reverse the fortunes of the DIY chains Fads and Homestyle, which it acquired in August, within five years. But does it have the magic touch?

Murdoch eyes F1 crock of gold

What’s the connection between Bernie Ecclestone, BAT and Rupert Murdoch? Answer: Digital television. All three believe they can exploit the digital television rights to Formula One racing, meaning specifically pay-per-view revenue which, like the proverbial crock of gold, shimmers at the end of the rainbow. Ecclestone has made great play recently about his altruistic motives […]

Playtex appoints marketing boss

Playtex, the maker of Wonderbra, has appointed Victor Crawford as its new UK marketing director. Crawford joins from Miracle Garden Care, formerly part of Zeneca/ ICI, where he was marketing manager reporting directly to the managing director. He will control a marketing spend of 7m. He replaces Nick Houghton, who was promoted to European marketing […]

Times in 10m Saturday rejig

The Times will spend up to 10m on advertising and redesigning its Saturday edition, with the bulk of the spend going behind a relaunched Saturday glossy lifestyle magazine. Nick Wapshott, editor of The Times on Saturday, says: “It will be the kind of magazine that people will take back to the newsagents thinking they have […]

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