Credit crisis diary: 12/01/2009

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The Independent Online

An old friend with advice for Oona

Oona King likes a challenge, and her new role as director of diversity at Channel 4 is likely to provide one for the former Labour MP. This, after all, is the home of Celebrity Big Brother – remember the Jade Goody/Shilpa Shetty race row – and this year's show has already coped with controversy over the censorship of a supposedly sectarian song. Still, if in doubt, Oona, below, can always ask her nemesis, George Galloway, for some advice. After taking her House of Commons seat in 2005, Mr Galloway went on to star in Celebrity BB itself.

Time to brush up on your beauty skills

There is one option for City professionals, estate agents and anyone else who has lost their job – especially if they have a background in sales. The door-to-door cosmetics specialist Avon is calling once again. It will launch a new advertising campaign this week and is seeking recruits across the country. Internationally, Avon is now selling $10bn (£6.6bn) of goods a year – more than you can say for sick retailers and stricken banks.

Holding the key to better car security

Some sensible advice from the RAC, which is really concerned about a sudden spike in car thefts linked to the cold weather. People are apparently turning on their engines on the drive to warm up their cars and leaving the vehicles unattended. "Make sure the ignition key is removed if you or any passengers are not in the vehicle," says the motoring organisation. Wise words – what a pity Princess Beatrice, whose BMW was pinched last week, failed to heed the RAC's advice. She and her bodyguard lost the motor after leaving it unattended with the keys in the ignition in Mayfair.

Making money in good markets and bad

Canny folks those PR executives. Presumably worried about the number of clients, potential or otherwise, disappearing into the black hole of this recession, Financial Dynamics has launched what it bills as "Europe's first restructuring and recapitalisation communications practice". In other words, for a fat fee, FD will spin your company's radical downsizing or desperate cash call into a good news story.

All at sea in the world of commercial property

One would imagine commercial property is not the best industry to be in right now. Mike Slade, chief executive of Helical Bar, clearly thinks so too. For the next fortnight or so, he is swapping the choppy waters of the property downturn for the storms of the South Atlantic, captaining the Icap Leopard super-yacht in a race from Cape Town to Bahia, in northern Brazil. Anything's easier than letting a retail outlet these days.