James Moore: A marketing tool that doubles as a scapegoat

Outlook Corporate Britain is loving the Olympics, and not just for all the opportunities it presents for entertaining and advertising. The Games are a dream come true for companies in certain sectors that need a little something to keep their investors sweet.

Yesterday Enterprise Inns was at it: sorry about those profits failing to meet expectations, but the Olympics are coming. People are going to flock to the pubs! Really? Enterprise has good reason to be optimistic about the European football championships. Misery loves company and England fans are likely to flock to its hostelries for that reason.

But it has always been doubtful whether the same holds true for, say, synchronised swimming. Or modern rhythmic gymnastics. And that was before the authorities started urging people not attending the Games to stay at home and avoid using the capital's creaking public transport infrastructure.

Not to worry, though. This should provide a ready made excuse if a profit warning is needed later in the year.

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