Business Diary: Iggy Pop's lust for advertising glory

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The Independent Online

Back by popular demand. Iggy Pop has filmed a new advertisement for Swiftcover, the online car insurer, despite the controversy that the first campaign provoked. Not only did Iggy face accusations of selling out, it also emerged that Swiftcover would not offer insurance to musicians (it subsequently changed tack). Still, the man himself is unrepentant. "Since I was six years old I wanted to be in an advert," he says.

Haven't we seen those results before?

An unhappy start to the new year for Conduit, the public relations agency. Rebooting its IT systems caused it to resend every email dispatched during the final three months of last year. A string of companies thus released results that looked remarkably familiar.

Don't believe all that you read

Good news from the Financial Times, whose annual poll of economists suggests that the UK is set for a dismal 2010. We say good news because the poll is notoriously inaccurate. Last year, the same set of economists forecast a 20 per cent slump in house prices – the actual figure for 2009 was a 5.9 per cent gain.

Orange juice prices squeezed by the freeze

As you freeze your way into the new year, console yourself with the thought that we're not the only ones suffering. Temperatures have plunged so dramatically in Florida, for example, that the orange crop is being threatened. That's led to a 10 per cent spike in the price of orange juice futures already this year.

Driving a hard bargain on a used Saab

Silver linings and all that – General Motors is due to make a final announcement about the future of its Saab subsidiary on Thursday and is widely expected to say it will close the Swedish manufacturer. A sad day for fans of the iconic marque (and its employees) but all is not lost. The folk at says prices of secondhand Saabs are plummeting now that the company's days are numbered.

Number of the day: 99p

The cost of a pint in Wetherspoon pubs during "new year sale". Health groups say the promotion is irresponsible.