Beer salesman beat a path to Allied Domecq's door

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The Independent Online
Tony Hales and Sir Christopher Hogg are going to enjoy Allied Domecq's position as Britain's biggest independent buyer of beer if recent events at the group's HQ are anything to go by. The ink was barely dry on the Carlsberg Tetley deal with Bass when Allied's top brass were visited by some very high-level door-to-door salesmen attempting to flog their wares. With a chain of more than 4,000 pubs and soon able to buy its beer from whomever it chooses, Allied will be a very important customer indeed.

First to post his calling card was Peter Jarvis, chief executive of Whitbread. Approaching Mr Hales and Sir Christopher, he appeared somewhat embarrassed by his situation and decided on a jovial approach. "Hello, it's the beer salesman," was his cheery opener.

The next day and who should drop by but Brian Stewart, chief executive of Scottish & Newcastle, purveyors of Courage, Foster's and McEwan's. He said exactly the same thing.

Lachlan Murdoch continues his meteoric rise within his father's media empire. The 25-year-old Princeton graduate has been appointed managing director of News Corporation's Australian subsidiary, News Limited. This is the main newspaper division which spans titles such as The Australian and Victoria's Herald Sun.

Rupert Murdoch's son will report to News Ltd chairman Ken Cowley, who said: "My primary function will be to shape the strategic direction of the group's businesses. Lachlan will concentrate on managing the News group operations and will report to me." Murdoch jnr joined News Ltd in 1994 as general manager of Queensland Newspapers and was later promoted to deputy managing director of News Ltd. "My progress through News Ltd has been made possible because of the support of Mr Cowley and the other executives of the News group," Lachlan Murdoch said.

The sound of frantic backtracking can be heard in Scarborough, the Yorkshire seaside town no one wants to go to. The local council has officially reprimanded Kevin Barrand, Scarborough's chief resorts officer, who described some of the town's older visitors as "old farts" earlier this month after Saga Holidays dropped the resort from its brochure. Recognising a gaffe when he sees one, Scarborough council's chief executive, John Trebble, said the use of such language was "unacceptable" and "does not reflect the views of the borough which holds its senior citizens in high esteem". A humbled Mr Barrand has accepted the ticking off and is no doubt sweating over a marketing campaign aimed at luring back the offended over-50s.

Reuters, the media group, has named two new executive directors. Jean- Claude Marchand, 50, will head the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa division. Mr Marchand has worked at Reuters since 1971 when he joined as a sales executive in Switzerland. The other appointment goes to another long-server. John Parcell, who has put in 27 years at Reuters, will take over the group's financial information product line. The editor-in-chief, Mark Wood, will step down as an executive director to concentrate on editorial issues. He will continue to represent the company on the board of Independent Television News.

Proudfoot, the down-at-heel management consultancy group, has provided ample evidence that telling other people how to run their businesses does not necessarily mean you can run your own. A profits warning and a sliding share price was not how the chief executive, Michael Hughes, envisaged celebrating the group's half century and the pain showed in his remarks. "In a year in which Proudfoot celebrates its 50th anniversary, making the company one of the longest established consultancy organisations in the world, it is acknowledged that substantial improvement in financial performance has yet to be demonstrated." Perhaps it could be demonstrated in the next 50 years.

Liberty, the upmarket retailer, has completed its senior management reshuffle with the appointment of Julia Bowe as marketing director. Ms Bowe, 36, joins from rival Austin Reed. A keen golfer, Ms Bowe also claims a "strong interest in fashion".

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