Business Diary: Red signal for Virgin Trains

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The Independent Online

It looks like Virgin Trains picked the wrong man to annoy when a string of its staff rather let down Simon Middleton at Crewe station recently. Mr Middleton is in the process of promoting his book, Build a Brand in 30 Days, and thus has access to the services of a public relations agency. It promptly put together a press release cataloguing Virgin's shabby treatment of Mr Middleton, and sent it to hundreds of journalists. Virgin seems to have forgotten the golden rule: the customer is always right, especially if he has some influence.

Nisa keeps on trucking

Our thanks to Nisa-Today, the organisation of independent shops, which has sent us a toy to promote its new image. Indeed, the remote-controlled lorry, with Nisa branding prominent on the side, would be the envy of any model enthusiast. Forget those annoying sports cars that disrupt the peace of the park – who wouldn't want a three-foot long Nisa lorry advertising cheap fish fingers?

Mementos of the credit crunch

Christie's last night confirmed that its sale of Lehman Brothers artwork and memorabilia will take place next Wednesday, reminding buyers that in addition to some quality artwork, the auction is a chance to snap up the plaque that was put up on the bank's Canary Wharf headquarters to commemorate its official opening in 2004 by the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown. Christie's director Benjamin Clark diplomatically describes the sale as "a fascinating glimpse into the history of what was a giant of the financial world".

Barclays Bank's two-wheeled art

Barclays Bank has gone all fashion-conscious, at least for a week, dressing up some of the "Boris bikes" it sponsors in London with a special design by Jean-Pierre Braganza to celebrate London Fashion Week. It's a risk – as the Diary reported last week, many Londoners don't seem to realise that Barclays sponsors the bike scheme, despite the liveried cycles – but the streets will be a brighter place.