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Virgin claims its PEP launch brought in ú42m between the March 3 launch and the end of the tax year. Abbey National netted ú60.

Virgin claims its PEP launch brought in £42m between the March 3 launch and the end of the tax year. Abbey National netted £60.1m in the same period with its branded PEP launch.

Amstrad Direct, Amstrad’s direct sales division, has redesigned its logo, introduced an Amstrad Direct Debit Card and issued a video and booklet giving advice about first-time computer buying. A direct mail campaign will start next month.

Seagram, the drinks distiller and distibutor whose brands include Martell, Tropicana and Glenlivet, is to buy a controlling interest in Hollywood entertainment group MCA – owned by Japanese electronics giant Matsushita. Seagram owns 15 per cent of Time Warner (George Pitcher, page 27).

Halifax Building Society and Leeds Permanent Building Soviety have begun a £2m direct mailing campaign to their 10.5 million members to give details of their proposed merger.

SmithKline Beecham is seeking an injunction to stop Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive from using coloured stripes similar to SB brands in their toothpastes .

Holiday Inn Worldwide has been named an official sponsor of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

Thomas Cook has rejected speculation that it will sell its retail and travel agency business and concentrate on its more profitable foreign exchange and travellers cheque lines. Following the recent drain of senior management, chairman Johannes Ringel has written to all staff insisting that Thomas Cook’s owner Westdeutsche Landesbank intends to retain all elements of the business.

Choice Hotels International has appointed general manager Roy Murray to the position of vice president sales and marketing – Asia-Pacific.

Kidd’s, America’s largest producer of marshmallows, has contracted home baking products manufacturer JF Renshaw to handle its UK marketing and distribution. Renshaw, which is planning to launch new marshmallow products later this year, will distribute Kidd’s product alongside its own.

KMI, the company run by Will King which produces shaving oil King of Shaves, has signed top sportsman Will Carling in a three-year product endorsement deal covering promotion, advertising and packaging.