Business Diary: Businesswear of your dreams

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The Independent Online

Starting to think about Christmas presents for the men in your family? May we recommend the "pillowtie". Ties are available in a wide range of designs but – and here's the USP – they're inflatable. Should the wearer find himself in need of an emergency pillow – stuck at the airport, or just in a particularly tedious presentation – a simple valve enables him to inflate his tie. Clearly a gift that won't let you down.

Patriotism is not a mug's game

Our best wishes to Steelite International, a little Stoke firm with lots of guts. Tired of seeing sales of its tableware eroded by "inferior foreign imports", it pulled a neat stunt to show the strength of its wares: balancing a double-decker bus on top of just four of its mugs.

Next marketing into overdrive

Next is such a proud parent. We know it is delighted with the new autumn range because it's splashed out on an expensive advertising campaign for its clobber. So keen is Next to make sure no one misses out on hearing its news, it has launched an email campaign to alert people to when the TV ads will air. We hope advertising the advertising does not become a trend.

PWC man does the double

What a week for Ian Powell, the chairman of accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Not content with unveiling PWC's record-breaking results – average pay of £759,000 per partner last year as it became Britain's biggest professional services firm – he picked up an honorary degree from the University of Wolverhampton. Which do you think he valued more?