Business Diary: M&S isn't off to the World Cup

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The Independent Online

So bad luck to Marks & Spencer and Nike, who appear to have backed the wrong horse in the run-up to the World Cup. Both have promotional deals with Theo Walcott, surprisingly axed from the England squad on Wednesday. Still, M&S for one is taking the disappointment on the chin, despite picturing Walcott in a number of its adverts. "We always knew there was a risk, but we're proud to be sponsoring the players," the company says, rather ruefully.

Penalties come to the City

Still on the footballing theme, here's your chance to succeed where so many England players have failed in the past. Standard Chartered bank is today inviting City workers to compete against the former Liverpool star Phil Thompson in a penalty shoot-out in the heart of London's Square Mile. It's an initiative designed to promote the Great City Race, which the bank is sponsoring next month. All the proceeds of these events go to the charity Seeing Is Believing.

Gentle advice for the boss?

A press release arrives from Prudential, the giant insurer that has run into a spot of bother with its failed plan to spend billions of pounds buying the Asian insurance company AIA. "Just one in five people seeks financial advice in the run-up to retirement," Pru says. Is this a hint from the marketing team to Tidjane Thiam and Harvey McGrath, their chief executive and chairman, both of whom are facing calls to resign?

Getting on top of the tantrums

Here's a date for the diaries of Willie Walsh, Tony Hayward and any other chief executives who may be finding it difficult to keep the lid on their rage at problems at work. On 1 July, the British Association of Anger Management is offering an "anger management taster evening" at a venue to be arranged in central London. "This two-hour introductory taster is a fascinating exploration of anger and anger management," the association explains.