Business Diary: DCI Hunt's collar felt over 'sexist' M&S ads

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The Independent Online

It seems the humour police are hot on the trail of M&S and DCI Gene Hunt (aka Philip Glenister, of Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars fame). The Advertising Standards Authority is looking into eight complaints about the chain's ad "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without..." ads in which Glenister says "That girl prancing about in her underwear". Cut to French underwear model Noemie Lenoir who (of course) says "Moi?". Will Glenister get his collar felt for being demeaning to women? Will he and the M&S marketing team get "banged up" over Christmas for this horrendous blag? The ASA will reveal all next week.

Bolland gets in practice for the new role at M&S

Fair play to outgoing Morrisons boss Marc Bolland. He didn't duck yesterday's results call, which unfortunately came just a day after he said he planned to quit in favour of Marks & Spencer. Sir Ian Gibson, the non-exec chairman of the Bradford-based supermarket chain, pleaded with the press to focus on the rather less exciting third-quarter results, instead of why Mr Bolland had jumped. With an eye on the fact that M&S attracts more coverage than any other retailer, Mr Bolland made sure that he thanked the press for their "co-operation" on the call for largely adhering to Sir Ian's request even though they didn't.

Chainmail on menu for diners at Green Door

To be sure, it's a stunt, but a good one. Told by the health and safety people that it would have to supply protective gloves to diners selecting the "carve your own" five-bone rib eye steak, Green Door Steakhouse has gone the whole hog by offering a full chainmail shirt (with glove) before handing over the knives. Sharp.

Christmas to be pricey for Halfords' chief

It is to be hoped that the children of Halfords boss David Wild don't believe in Father Christmas. Their Dad has blown any surprises in the cause of promoting his employer. At yesterday's interims he let slip that two of his four would be getting shiny new bikes (from Halfords, surprise surprise, where they've been selling like hot mince pies) on December 25. Mr Wild declined to say which models he'd be buying, but now he's let the cat out of the bag, he'd best be looking at two of the more expensive options.

Number of the day: 2,500

Jobs are going from AOL in the US – a third of the workforce – as the one-time corporate titan continues to shrink.