Pembroke: Artist tears a strip off advertising agency

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The Independent Online
There must be red faces down at Ogilvy & Mather, the Docklands-based advertising agency that is part of Martin Sorrell's WPP group. A poster campaign to promote Sun-Pat Stripey peanut butter has backfired badly, forcing the agency to make grovelling apologies in prominent adverts in newspapers and magazines.

'Ogilvy & Mather wish to apologise to Bridget Riley, the artist,' runs a half-page advert in yesterday's London Evening Standard, 'and those who know and respect her work and who might have suffered distress and concern by any impression that we based our recent advert on Bridget Riley's painting 'The Fall'.'

Bridget Riley is well known for op-art, or optical illusion art where wavy lines close together make a flat surface appear to ripple.

Ogilvy & Mather refused to comment yesterday, as did Nestle, owner of the Sun-Pat brand. O&M has also made 'a generous donation' to the Elephant Trust at Miss Riley's request.

It is not the first time ads with zany stripes have caused problems. A Yellowhammer ad for Yorkshire Television in 1987 featuring yellow and black horizontal wavy lines attracted complaints saying it was likely to cause epileptic fits.

The possibility of a leadership challenge to John Major has become too much to resist for IG Index, the financial bookmaker. It had planned to open a book next month but things have hotted up so much it will start taking bets immediately.

In its 'Cabinet Index', the bookie will take bets on who will hold certain cabinet positions on the first day of January next year.

Aware that the politics is a little outside its normal area of expertise (stock market movements etc) IG Index is asking high rollers to go easy. 'Please note that these are FUN bets,' it says. 'We are obviously running a risk of inside information, so quotations will only be good for small amounts.'

Serif, the printing and publishing group that manufactures the Trivial Pursuit game, has bade farewell to its founder and principal shareholder. John Pryke sold the bulk of his shares in the company yesterday for pounds 2.8m, and his dad, Victor, also sold a few, for pounds 340,000. Mr Pryke, 40, says he plans to spend more time with his family and is doing just that in their house in Normandy.

Mr Pryke did well out of Trivial Pursuit. After starting out as a humble print compositer he flew to Barbados to meet Blake de Blanc and Brian Fuller, two of TP's developers. The meeting led to Mr Pryke being offered the licence to distribute the game that had a generation of general knowledge buffs trying to remember the first record played on Radio One and the second actor to play Doctor Who.

Everone knows that hotels overcharge for telephone calls. Everyone, it seems, except businessmen. According to a survey by Industrial Research Bureau, unworldly suits believe hotels no more than double the price of a call.

In fact, the surcharge can be as much as 900 per cent. For one hapless manager in the survey, a 20-minute call back home from his hotel cost the same as his two- night stay.

(Photograph omitted)

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