Business Diary: The wrong place to wave the flag

Defence company BAE hasn't always enjoyed the best image – sometimes fairly, other times less so. It's therefore always keen on opportunities to promote its brand.

One relatively new initiative has been to sponsor taxis, and a number of London cabs now sport the BAE livery. The company had been hoping to expand the initiative to a number of other cities around the country. But it ran into difficulties in Glasgow, where officials warned it that plastering the union jack all over cabs – for this is what the BAE livery features – might go down rather badly in some parts of town.

Casting spells for bigger bonuses

A case of the City hoping to recapture its magic touch? The banks holding talks on how to come up with a deal on bonuses that doesn't annoy the public or their own highly paid staff – best of luck with that one – naturally had to think of a code name for the rather delicate endeavour. And so "Project Merlin" was born. To be fair to them, "Project pay ourselves a fortune and get away with it again" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

A perfect union in the skies?

Breaking news: budget airline Ryanair does not intend to bid for Virgin, Sir Richard Branson's baby, which has said it is seeking new partners. To our knowledge, no-one was expecting it to – they inhabit, how shall we put it, rather different worlds – but Ryanair insists it has been receiving calls from those who think it might be tempted to have a go. What a shame: a partnership between Sir Richard and Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary would certainly have been fun – who would come out as top dog?

Sky's Christmas message for MPs

Much mirth at Guardian News & Media, which is one of the newspaper groups that objects most strongly to the idea of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp being allowed to take full control of Sky. It dispatched some staff to a meeting of the all-party parliamentary media group at the House of Commons this week to plead its case. Within a couple of hours of the meeting ending, Sky had announced it would no long sponsor the MPs' group. No doubt the timing of this withdrawal of support was completely coincidental.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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