Business Diary: Cold sweat for Chill on Facebook

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The Independent Online

The chaps at Chill, an American app developer, thought nothing of using conventional marketing techniques to plug their products – including posting spam mails on the walls of many Facebook users. It is a common enough technique, but unfortunately one of their postings ended up on the wall of one Dave Morin, who turns out to be a good friend of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Cue this diss from the man himself: "They auto-post something saying their app is awesome coming from you? That's lame". Oops – given that app developers are so dependent on the goodwill of the social networks with which they work, it's probably best not to annoy the top man.

US bonds really used to fly

It is now more than three decades since the classic movie Airplane came out and it is still make us laugh. We only bring it up because the ongoing crisis in the finances of many US municipal authorities – witness thelatest downgrading of the credit rating of their debts by Standard & Poor's – reminds us of the final line of the film, asspoken by a relieved Captain Rex Kramer to the hero of the hour, Ted Striker. It's aninvestment recommendation. "Municipal bonds Ted, I'm talking double-A rating... the best investment in America."

The airline for wine lovers

Here's another one in the eye for wine (or aeroplane) snobs. Can you guess which airline has just come top in a blind tasting of wines served on its planes? The airline in question won for the white wine its cabin staff dispense, a very pleasing Louise Mondeville Cotes de Gasgôgne. It beat competition from, among others, British Airways, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and even AirFrance, which one might have expected to do well at a wine tasting. Step forward and take a bow, budget airline easyJet.

Glencore has a sweet tooth

Our fact of the day comescourtesy of a market presentation on its activities from Glencore, the recently floated commodities trader. Did you know that Glencore marketed enoughsugar last year to make 18.6billion Dairy Milk chocolate bars? And to think that some people say the giant Swiss firm is not all sweetness and light.