Business Diary: 12/06/2010

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The Independent Online

How Bannatyne can clear the air

Ping. An email arrives from Dragons' Den judge and recruitment company boss James Caan, inviting people to "Ask me anything" via the social networking site for professionals, LinkedIn.

We shall indeed, James – probably focusing on whether you and Duncan Bannatyne, your fellow judge on the programme, have kissed and made up after the unfortunate spat in which he criticised your tax status. In fact, maybe this is Bannatyne's chance to get in touch.

BP row rages across the ocean

Those funny guys at UCB Comedy are the latest to give BP the treatment, with a new video posted on YouTube. We won't spoilt the gag for you, but the movie features a bunch of hapless executives who spill a cup of coffee during a meeting. It's funny, but not as funny as the comments of viewers below – not so much comments, in fact, but a full-blown slanging match between Brits and Americans.

Rescuing a battered brand

Still on the topic of BP, City folk with longer memories are now debating whether a change of name is needed for the oil giant if it is to have any hope of salvaging its tarnished brand value. The company has only been known as British Petroleum for 60 years, so maybe it's time to go back to its original moniker in order to overcome any lingering ill-will towards Britain once this crisis over. Until 1954, BP was the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Oh, hang on, that's not going to work.

Business leaders pick their battle

Just 10 days to go now to George Osborne's emergency budget and the backlash over potential increases in capital gains tax is gathering pace. Some bright spark has even launched a protest site – at www.stopcapitalgainshike. org – where he is garnering support for an online petition against a rise in CGT. The site points to a campaign by business leaders against the tax hike, though oddly none of the senior figures who criticised Labour's national insurance raise before the election seem quite so keen to be associated with this particular battle.

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