Business Diary: Asda forced to eat its words

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The Independent Online

Egg on faces at Asda, which last month promised to always be10 per cent cheaper than rivals. So irritated was Tesco by the claim, it complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, arguing that the comparison excluded so many items it was misleading. The ASA's ruling, published today, doesn't entirely back Tesco's side of the argument, but Asda has been ordered not to repeat the claims without rewording them. Cleaner to aisle three please.

Goldman star says no to Facebook

Did Abby Joseph Cohen of Goldman Sachs – something of a personality on Wall Street – take it well when a New York Times interviewer asked her about her social networking activities? Not terribly, if the truth be known. The NYT's interview with Cohen records a frosty response to the question of whether she has a Facebook page, presumably related to the problems the bank has had selling its stock. "I don't think we should talk about this," said Cohen. "No one here is supposed to be talking about Facebook."

Honest British firms miss out

Are you the vice-president of international sales for ABC Plc, struggling to explain to your boss why those big overseas contracts continue to remain tantalisingly out of reach? If so, here's a convenient excuse: it's all the fault of our man in wherever. According to Good Corporation, a specialist adviser on business ethics, the most common complaint of companies at a recent House of Lords debate was that British embassies overseas do nothing when bribery requests are reported to them.

Just say no, says Moulton

Jon Moulton, the private equity tycoon, is nothing if not consistent. "The Government's answer [to the debt crisis] is lots more debt," he told a conference last May. "Which is entirely analogous to giving heroin to a heroin addict. It makes them happy for a short period and guarantees that it will be worse in the future." In a Centre for Policy Studies paper yesterday, Moulton said: "Attempting to solve the difficulties of too much debt by using more debt is the same as treating heroin addiction with more heroin. The addict may feel better but the problem grows." Someone is addicted to his metaphor.