Business Diary: Death is no escape from junk mailers

You'd think in the era of electronic communication that the volume of junk "snail" mail, and the problems caused by it, would be on the wane. Not so. The Deceased Preference Service, which performs the useful service of deleting the names of dead people from mailing lists,says that 5.2 million pieces of direct mail (junk mail to you and me) will be delivered during the festive period to those who have departed this mortal coil. Quite apart from the pain these unnecessary letters might cause to recently bereaved relatives, that's enough rubbish to fill 245 dustbins. An awful lot of landfill.

Is it time to clip the wings of Nails inc?

A press release arrives from the imaginatively named "Nails inc" (it does manicures in case you didn't guess ). The company is claiming to have "created a new market" cutting £1,000 a year off its average customer's bank account for its range of nail-care services. This, the firm says, is a 20-fold increase on the average £50 women spent on nail care 10 years ago (source? Nails inc customer research). If those figures bear up, there's a marvellous opportunity for cheaper competitors to come in and clip its market share. EasyNails anyone?

Peta protest is a bit thin on the ground

Direct action is very much back in fashion. We've had UK Uncut picketing Topshop about Sir Philip Green's tax contributions and student sit-ins about Vince Cable's fee-hike fiasco. Now Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) joins in with, erm, the "sexy santa". Its models got dolled up to hand out gift sacks to shoppers at Fortnum & Mason in an attempt to persuade the retailer to join forces with Harvey Nics and Selfridges by stopping sales of foie gras because force-feeding geese and ducks to make it is cruel. Its models might benefit from a bit of ordinary feeding.

Avoiding the 'glass cliff' with a coach

Apparently, women who break through the glass ceiling by reaching the top then face a "glass cliff" which they can fall off if they make even small mistakes. So says First 100, which provides executive coaching and cites research from Yale University. Call us terribly old fashioned, but wouldn't the best way to avoid the cliff be to concentrate on the job rather than expensive coaching sessions?