They don't come much closer to a marketing man's dream than Linford Christie. Followers of athletics and readers of the Independent who saw yesterday's front page photograph will have noticed that after his victory in the 100m in Zurich the other evening, Christie removed his running vest to reveal a large white Puma logo emblazoned on his chest.

The logo - on the left pectoral to be precise - looked so incongruous that observers might have thought it was a previously unnoticed birth mark or a rather unfortunate bird dropping.

Is this a new trend in sports sponsorship? Can we expect Gazza to have three Adidas stripes inked into his platinum blond crew cut? Or Andre Agassi to have the distinctive Nike tick shaved into his chest hair?

Puma - which has had a deal with Christie for 13 years - says that the sprinter usually removes his shirt after races but this was the first time that he had worn the logo, a temporary tattoo.

Puma arranged the deal through Christie's agent, Nuff Respect, and is understandably delighted at the coverage. "Linford is a great media vehicle for our brand and he likes doing things that attract attention," the company said.

Coca-Cola is just one of the companies enjoying a summer bonanza because of the continuing heatwave.

The Coke company said yesterday that sales last week were 30 per cent higher than the same week last year and six per cent higher than its best week on record.

Birds Eye Walls, part of Unilever and the largest UK ice cream maker, is equally chipper. The company sold 100 million ice creams in July, 10 per cent more than last year. This month looks like being even better with sales currently running at more than double last year's total.

Cadbury Schweppes, which markets Coca-Cola through a joint venture is pleased as punch with the big soft drinks binge but is saying precious little about its sales of chocolate.

Kevin Hawkins, former corporate affairs director at WH Smith, has jumped ship to join Argyll, the Safeway supermarkets group.

Dr Hawkins , one of that rare breed of PR men with a PhD, joined Smiths from Lucas in 1989. He says that his departure was nothing to do with the trauma of having to deal with WH Smith's profit warning earlier this year, the company's first in 15 years.

"I had been there six years and decided it was time for a change before I reached 50, he said." How old is he now? A well-preserved 47.

If Northumbrian Water gets really desperate in its defence against a hostile takeover from French group Lyonnais des Eaux, perhaps it will make use of its mirthful address. The company's headquarters is based at Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham. Northumbrian tells me that Pity Me is a corruption of the French, Petit Mer, meaning small sea. Apparently French settlers alighted upon the North-east village back in the dim and distant past when there was a small lake there. This has long since been dredged and replaced by an aesthetically pleasing industrial estate. "There are a number of villages with unusual names up here," Northumbrian says. "There is one up the road called No Place."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions