Business Diary: 21/11/2009

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The Independent Online

M&S found wanting at retail awards time

A notable omission from planet retail's annual backslapping bash, otherwise known as the Retail Week awards. Poor old M&S has not garnered a single nomination.

By contrast, Morrisons has racked up a more than impressive haul of five: Employer of the Year, Customer Service Initiative of the Year, Product Innovation of the Year, Responsible Retailer of the Year, Store Manager of the Year. Will the (soon to be) ex-Morrisons boss Marc Bolland, be leading the cheers from his M&S table when the winners are announced on the big night (Morrisons is nailed on to take at least one)? Diary thinks we should be told.

So whose ads are the really sexist ones?

Talking of M&S: Which is the really bad example of sexism in advertising? The M&S ones with a lingerie model that have been reported to the advertising standards people, or the Exxon Mobil "we're clean green and lovely, honest" ones which appear to say that while it's ok to look ordinary as a bloke in an ad, you have to be drop-dead gorgeous as a woman?

Tesco's getting to grips with this banking lark

Banks are renowned for their obfuscation and corporate gobbledygook, so it's nice to see that a partner Tesco has selected for its bank is well-placed to teach it the lingo. Announcing the tie-up, the US firm Fiserv gushes about its "core banking solutions" and tells us it's "the world's largest provider of international retail core banking solutions and financial technology". Every little helps ...

Talk about your mother, then your shares

The ex-employee of the hedge fund firm Pequot Capital at the centre of a US insider trading inquiry told his therapist (so the latter said in a deposition) that he was fired in 2001 after he stopped supplying info on Microsoft. The firm's founder, Arthur Samberg, denies the allegations, but really, talking trading with a therapist ... Only in America.

Number of the day: $300m

The latest award by a US court to a former smoker, this time in Florida and against Philip Morris.