Business Diary: The PR mandate from hell?

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The Independent Online

Someone out there is going to make a killing. PR Week reports that Royal Bank of Scotland is on the hunt for an agency to lead a campaign to "restore the public's faith in its brand and retail banking business".

Now, let's be honest – this isn't going to be a short job, is it? Still, let's hope RBS manages to negotiate mates' rates. We're all taxpayers, after all, and we're all in this together. Anyway, the agency that can pull off the trick RBS is after is never going to be short of work again.

Let down by the drinking water

Bless the folk at Morrison's. Someone in the supermarket group's marketing department struck on a clever idea for cosying up to the analysts who can make or break its reputation in the City. Why not invite them along to an evening of cookery lessons? The event, held at the Prue Leith cookery school, was all good fun and also gave Morrisons a chance to show off some of the lovely ingredients available in its stores. Still, the drinks were a little strange. Wasn't it a bit odd to ply the analysts with Tesco's own-label mineral water?

A trouble shared is a trouble halved

Diary couldn't help but chuckle at the report on Rolls-Royce'strading statement which ran on the online news service Citywire yesterday: The news wassponsored by, ahem, the fund manager Gartmore. The deal couldn't have been more appropriate given the difficulties faced by both companies over the past week or so. Perhaps their PR departments could team up to swap tips on how to deal with crises?

The FSA rings up a big bill

Much grumbling in the City over the Financial Services Authority's latest regulatory wheeze: it wants to tape theconversations City traders have on their mobile phones, which is going to cost a small fortune. The idea is that those naughty types who avoid using their office phones to indulge in such evils as insider trading will now be prevented from using their mobiles too. That's right, because no one is going to be smart enough to come up with a plan for circumventing that crackdown – such as getting an untraceable pay-as-you-go phone, for example.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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