Business Diary: Rentokil bugged as PR gaffe is exposed

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The Independent Online

Red faces at Rentokil and its PR agency BrandsLife, which claimed research showed the typical train carriage might be home to 1,000 cockroaches, 200 bedbugs and 200 fleas. The shocking findings were widely covered in the media, but prompted some cynicism amongst scientists who actually know a thing or two about such matters. After a series of blogs questioning the research, Rentokil has published "a clarification and an apology". This was a worst-case scenario, Rentokil now admits, based on assumptions such as the carriage never being cleaned or carrying any passengers to stamp on the pesky insects.

Recession boost for green fingers

The phrase "gardening leave" refers to a period of time off for someone who is asked to stop work at one employer after giving notice that he intends to join another. But in the recession, it is clear that gardening leave has become a little more permanent – market researcher Verdict says spending on gardening products was up 10 per cent last year.

Get paid to flog your friends pizza

Short of cash? Allow Domino's Pizza to place an advert for its services on your social networking pages and you can earn 50p every time someone clicks through it to order a takeaway. Garlic bread all round.

British Airways wins hearts and minds

More good news for Willie Walsh, boss of British Airways. Not only is Gordon Brown backing the business in its row with cabin staff, the markets like the airline too. Citigroup says buy the shares, on the grounds that the union will cave in eventually and that the market has already priced in the cost of the dispute.

The perfect awards for Gordon Brown

Has the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development sent an entry form for its People Management Awards to Downing Street? Some of the categories sound tailor-made for the Prime Minister's office – with gongs for best employee engagement, performance and reward, talent attraction and management, this is the PM's chance to put the bullying claims behind him.

Number of the day: 30 per cent

The minimum share of management jobs that Deutsche Telekom has promised will be held by women by 2015.