Business Diary: Grocer gives Hell to Premier

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The Independent Online

Michael Clarke, who has been given the job of stabilising Premier Foods after a torrid year, recently laid out his manifesto to the industry bible.

In an interview with The Grocer, the new chief roared "With focus on power brands, I can save Premier." It featured an accompanying picture of such power brands, including Bisto, Mr Kipling and Sharwood's, with other of its brands greyed out into the background. Except the magazine managed to include a bottle of Hellmann's mayonnaise, owned by...rival Unilever.

MC Hammer: Google can't touch this

MC Hammer, the 1980s rapper known for his love of enormous trousers, has been trying to reinvent himself as a technology entrepreneur. The singer of such classics as "U Can't Touch This" has Google and Bing in his sites with the launch of WireDoo, which will offer a "deep search" that its rivals can't. If the search is as deep as the pockets on those trousers, he's on to a sure-fire winner.

Mystic Merv set for grilling

All eyes will be on the Treasury Select Committee's latest grilling of Sir Mervyn King on Tuesday. The official topic for discussion is quantitative easing but the Bank of England Governor often voices his thoughts on wider matters. In March he told the committee he was surprised people weren't more angry at the bankers and now there are protesters encamped at St Paul's Cathedral. What will the Mystic Merv foresee this time around?

Martin drinks in new scenery

Tim Martin, the chairman of JD Wetherspoon, was spotted scoping out one of his rivals' pubs in Notting Hill this week. Diary spotted the founder of "Spoons" supping a pint in the Churchill Arms, a popular boozer owned by Fuller's. But don't expect him to launch a bid for Fuller's. An industry source says Mr Martin often frequents other pubs. "If it sells good real ale, he will go."

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