Business Diary: Plane Stupid gatecrash the PR party

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The Independent Online

To the PR Week awards, which were livelier than expected. Midway through the evening several guests started yelling, and as they got louder security was forced to remove their entire table before dinner had been served. The bash, attended by airlines and energy companies, had become the target of climate change protesters, who were eventually removed by police.

How Armstrong saved the evening

Not that the boys in blue nicked everyone. Shortly after the protest was broken up, the entertainment – comedian Alexander Armstrong – was half-way through his act when another protester began yelling. One guest said Armstrong's retort was his funniest of the night, but given the, um, state of refreshment, the witticism is now lost to history.

The insurer with the massive ball

Anyone wandering down Lime Street in the heart of the City of London yesterday morning couldn't have missed this advert from the specialist business insurer QBE, which has just signed a deal to sponsor rugby union's Premiership. This ball measures four metres in height – QBE describes the promotion as an "installation".

Don't give up the day job, Microsoft

Microsoft's system upgrades almost always come with an excruciating promotional film. At the height of the popularity of Friends, the software giant hired Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry to make an awful short about Windows 95. But with Windows 7, out today, Microsoft has outdone itself, with a six-minute video of happy folks partying as they try out the new system. See it for yourself on YouTube, but not if you value your sanity.

There's no room for sentimentality at BT

The entrepreneurial folk at BT have been using the publicity around the strike at Royal Mail as the perfect opportunity to step up marketing of their email facilities for businesses. How times change: most BT staff are probably too young to recall the days of the General Post Office – until 1981 BT and Royal Mail were part of the same organisation.

Number of the day: £10m

The cost of direct mail marketing campaigns now threatened by industrial action at Royal Mail.