Business Diary: Citroen drives into a controversy
Saturday 28 May 2011
Citroen has dropped a clanger or come up with a masterstroke – you decide.
The car manufacturer is certainly very proud of its new DS4 and has launched an advertising campaign to say so. Just one thing: in French, the name of the car – pronounced "day-ess-kat" sounds almost identical to DSK – "day-ess-ka" – the sobriquet by which Dominique Strauss-Kahn is commonly known. In the context of the former IMF managing director's current legal difficulties, one of Citroen's advertising slogans, "Learn to say no", looks unfortunate to say the least.
No thanks for Standard Life
Big institutional shareholders get criticised for not turning up to annual general meetings so hats off to Standard Life's Jonathan Cobb for speaking up at HSBC's bash yesterday. But will he want to do it again? Brian Dodd, a small shareholder and perennial thorn in HSBC's side, took the floor to rant: "You
can't trust Standard Life and the other lot", accusing the insurer of a past "cock-up" and a failure to understand percentages. He also demanded that any other fund managers at the meeting stand up and be counted. No one did.
BT, the coalition's favourite firm
So what has BT done to so delight the Coalition Government? A survey from MHP Communications, the public relations outfit, reveals the company has been mentioned in ministerial speeches more times than any other corporation during the first year of the Coalition. With 19 mentions so far, BT pipped the BBC, Facebook and Rolls-Royce to first place. Even better, the mentions were almost all positive, which makes a change for a company that doesn't always get the best press.
How China is taking off
More evidence that China istaking over the world: itsprivate jet market is booming. A decade ago, reports Bloomberg, not a single private jet wasregistered in the country – now there are 90, 10 of which have been delivered since the beginning of the year. Another 70 are expected to be registered over the next 12 months. Justin Lee Firestone, a consultant who specialises in this market, tells Bloomberg: "Those numbers are explosive," which seems a rather misguided phrase.
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