Business Diary: A patriot who feels betrayed
Thursday 03 February 2011
Poor old David Buik, the veteran commentator at BGC Partners, rather choked on his cornflakes yesterday morning when Vodafone, the English mobile phone giant, announced that its next chairman would be the Dutchman Gerard Kleisterlee. Never mind that as former boss of the electronics company Philips, Kleisterlee has an impressive pedigree. "I am gobsmacked that Vodafone cannot find an Englishman that fits the bill," fumes Buik. On the plus side, Andy Murray lost in Melbourne on Sunday – Buik had spent the weekend fretting about having to celebrate a Scotsman breaking Britain's 75-year Grand Slam drought.
Business opening for grown-ups
Calling all internet entrepreneurs: could this be the next big opportunity for you? The domain name Adult.co.uk is up for sale for the first time in 15 years and is apparently prompting the sort of interest not seen since sex.com went for $13m last year. The seller suggests that the name "could be used for a variety of sectors, including sex, relationships or a humour website". Nice try, but it seems to us that only one of those options is really going to fly.
One topping short of a pizza?
We take our hats off to Luke Johnson, the businessman who made his name when he took over Pizza Express. Writing in the Financial Times yesterday, Johnson was brave enough to admit to an obsession that some people might think is just a little odd: the world of trade associations. "My favourite birthday present one year was a directory of all Britain's trade bodies," says Johnson. Give that man a membership of the Weird Hobbies Association at once.
Asda fights back in price war
It seems the Diary was a little unfair in accusing Asda of breaking Advertising Standards Authority rules with its new year price promotion campaign. The grocer is in touch to say that contrary to our little piece yesterday, the ASA'sruling against Asda actually referred to a campaign it ran last year – and assures us that the current campaign is ongoing. Looks like the war of words with Tesco – which has complained to the watchdog – is going to run and run.
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