Business Diary: Slow going for A&L on eBay

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The Independent Online

It should have come as no surprise that branded material "liberated" from Lehman Brothers after its collapse turned up on eBay. After all, this was the bank that nearly tipped the world into financial Armageddon so its trinkets had a certain collectible appeal. But Alliance & Leicester? A dull mortgage bank swallowed up on the cheap by Banco Santander? Nonetheless, its all there. From button badges, to pen holders, to mugs, homemakers guides and even old Leicester City tops bearing its logo. Nothing's going for more than a tenner, though, which rather tells its own story.

Lehman Brothers: Safe, can't be right

All the (sort of) good Lehman Brothers stuff is now gone of course, presumably taking pride of place in peoples' attics or basements. But we couldn't resist taking a look to see if there was anything left, and there it is: A brand new Lehman Brothers mouse mat for sale, emblazoned with the word "Safe" in large and rather lurid orange letters. Look a bit closer and you'll see that what the word is actually referring to is a list of tips about internet security. But connecting the word Safe with Lehman Brothers in any context is, well, bizarre. (It's a fiver if you're interested.)

Playboy gets up to some Mischief

Much huffing and puffing in recent weeks over plans to reopen the once iconic Playboy Club in London, 30 years after the hedonistic celebrity hang out closed its doors for the last time. Despite criticism from feminists, and the feeling that it might just be something of a museum piece, the organisers are pushing ahead and have hired a public relations firm to generate some noise. It's name? Rather appropriately it's Mischief PR.

Advice on PR from Essex

Talking of PR, this one really takes the biscuit. Trade journal PR Week is reporting that, in this era of austerity, Essex County Council is making a few quid extra for itself by, ahem, selling its communications "expertise". This is the same council, you may remember, that put up a poor couple's children for adoption because they were considered "too slow" among other colourful incidents. They may well have some experience with "crisis management," but for PR it can't be the only way in Essex.