Business Diary: Taxing query about cost of publicity stunt

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The Independent Online

The Taxpayers Alliance gets very cross about government waste, but one wonders how much its latest stunt has cost. The lobby group has had an articulated lorry on the road for the past fortnight, with a "debt clock" mounted on its side. The lorry's nationwide tour covered 1,500 miles, with the Government deficit rising by £6.7bn during its journey time. The diesel bill must have been expensive and let's not even think about the carbon emissions.

£42,500 for a week-long taste of journalism

Nobody expects to get paid during a work placement, but you're not normally expected to cough up for the experience either. One wonders who, then, has shelled out $42,500 for a week's internship at fashion magazine Vogue? The placement does come with the promise of a session with feared editor Anna Wintour – and the week was auctioned off for the benefit of charity – but still, $42,500?

Free Barclays pen causes complaint at AGM

Bankers' pay, the global financial crisis, and the break-up of the banks pale into insignificance when compared to the most pressing issue at Barclays AGM on Friday, at least as far as one shareholder was concerned. A serial AGMer was heard loudly complaining at the absence of Barclays pens after he had been through security. Insurer Aviva had given him a pen but he'd missed Barclays distributing its freebies outside the AGM hall.

Wrong, but thanks a million

Talk about adding insult to injury. Public relations agency Mattison has put out a little release on insolvencies in the hotel industry, including a spiteful list of the poor souls to have suffered that fate. The first Mattison release included "Cavendish Hotels – East Anglia-based hotel chain owned by Suffolk billionaire Richard Cattermole". Minutes later, it reissued the release downgrading Cattermole to millionaire status.

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