Pembroke: A black day for White's backers

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The Independent Online
When Jimmy White fluffed a black in the final frame of Monday's world snooker championship, in effect handing the title to Stephen Hendry, a small group of London businessmen were left biting their sofas.

Robin Jones and John Roberts, a former board director at Next, run BCE, an amusement arcades business that also owns the distribution rights to some snooker equipment. They pay White an estimated pounds 50,000 a year to rack up the 100 breaks with one of their Dominator cues. The executives who reversed into the company in November no doubt harboured hopes of shifting large numbers of the things had the Whirlwind triumphed.

But now that White has lost five successive world finals, including three using the Dominator, BCE faces a different prospect. White might blame his defeats on his cue and start using something else.

Wanted: amateur cowboy for promotional launch. Must have bandy legs and plausible Texan drawl. Full-time position. Salary dependent on experience. This, more or less, is the job description issued by The Texan Trading Post, a new snacks company set up in Derbyshire by Californian Paul Olsen. Mr Olsen, a graphics man with movie credits including Star Trek films and Terminator 2, is launching a new range on 4 July and wants a cowboy (stage-name: Black Bart) to help with promotions. 'We've got 50 applications already, mostly from non-actors,' Trading Post says.

The company says trials, which could include the ability to be quick on the draw with a Colt 45, will start in June. The position does have long-term, if not exactly promotion prospects. 'The job could last up to five years,' says a spokesman.

The internal auditing profession seems to have woken up to what the rest of us have known for a long time. It has an image problem. In the May issue of Internal Auditing, its thrilling trade magazine, the number-crunchers admit that hardly anyone knows what internal auditing is, and those who do find it terminally dull. Things may change, but surely not as much as the front cover suggests. It features a toddler playing in the park under the headline: 'When I grow up I want to be. . .' Well, not an internal auditor, surely?

The head honchos' office at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland has become a very floral place. Primrose McCabe was recently appointed as the first woman president. Her secretary is called Iris.

The advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers seems to have gone for the obvious 'sex sells' theory with its new adverts for BT. Last weekend the agency launched a campaign featuring a naked man and woman, under the headline: 'Why can't men be more like women?'. The advert is based on BT's ground-breaking research that women tend to talk for longer on the phone than men. OK. But why haven't they got any clothes on? 'Our research showed there were fundamental differences between the way men and women use the phone and we felt the advertising emphasised the differences,' stammered a BT man.

Jeremy Myles, the creative director responsible for the campaign, denies it is a gratuitous use of the naked form. 'They are not naked just to be sensational. It's not salacious. But it is attention-seeking.'

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