Business Diary: 12/09/2009
Saturday 12 September 2009
High praise from a spinner who knows
Much joy at Media House, the PR agency representing the Phoenix Four, who were roundly castigated in yesterday's MG Rover report. "Outrageous spin" was how the Secretary of State for Business, Lord Mandelson, described the agency's statement on behalf of the businessmen. "It's my finest hour," says one of the Media House execs. "What an accolade from the dark lord of spin himself."
Charles says no to Johnnie Walker
Prince Charles is obviously a single malt man. The Scotsman reports that the Prince snubbed an approach to offer his support to a campaign to save workers employed at a Johnnie Walker plant in Kilmarnock, which the owner Diageo plans to close. Is the blended whisky not to his taste?
Making the best of a bad lot
Brian Hartzer, the new boss of retail banking at NatWest, arranged a series of full-page press ads this week, featuring an open letter to customers boasting about cuts in borrowing fees. "I have made it my priority to understand how, in these challenging times, we can continue to support our customers," he explains. "It is for this reason we have reviewed overdraft pricing." Really Brian? Nothing to do with the test case on charges winding its way through the courts then?
First orders at the bar, please
Many of its outlets open first thing, but JD Wetherspoon's Crosse Keys pub in the City was closed yesterday morning for press briefings. This didn't stop one over-thirsty punter from rattling the locked doors, in a vain attempt to enter the establishment. The chief executive John Hutson, wasn't persuaded to pull the poor chap a pint.
How to appeal to the fairer sex
Hutson also offered a fascinating insight into what women look for in a pub. "Toilets are important to female customers, particularly if they are eating," he explained. Presumably, he meant sampling its food upstairs, as opposed to eating grub in the loos down below – or maybe not. "Our loos are so clean, you can eat our food off them," he added.
Number of the day: 10,000
The number of holidaymakers still to be compensated a year after the collapse of travel company XL Leisure
- 1 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
James Foley 'beheaded': PM cuts holiday short for emergency meeting on British response to latest Isis atrocity
Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
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