Bunhill: Plastic prohibited

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The Independent Online
DELICATE readers should skip this bit. Sorry, but I'm returning to the subject of American Express advertising. You know, those emetic ads in which Amex strokes the egos of various well-known businessmen, who gushingly endorse the plastic cards.

Ian Hannah, chairman of Scottish and Newcastle retail, is the latest to lend his name to Amex. He, along with pint pot, appears in the latest press ad burbling: 'A good landlord is a vicar, a community leader and a policeman all rolled into one.'

The sign-off is the phrase: 'At Ian Hannah's local (and locals all over the country) - that'll do nicely.'

Unfortunate, then, that Scottish and Newcastle's pubs do not accept Amex cards for purchases of alcoholic drinks. There's a very good reason. It is illegal so to do. A spokeswoman for Scottish and Newcastle says you can use the card in about half the group's pubs to buy food. 'But I'm not sure what the landlord's reaction would be if you used it for a pounds 1.50 ploughman's,' she adds. Not very vicar-like, I'd imagine.