People & Business

STANDARD LIFE Bank is claiming a famous victory over its gigantic adversary BT in a row over the the phone company's latest "Good Vibrations" TV ad campaign.

Doughty Glaswegian Jim Spowart, managing director of Standard Life Bank, has sent Sir Iain Vallance's army "homeward tae think again", I hear. Or metaphorically, at least.

BT has agreed to withdraw its TV ads, which feature happy phone customers using a particular gesture, a clenched fist with thumb and little finger stuck out. Standard Life Bank, which only launched in January and has spent pounds 2m on an ad campaign using exactly the same gesture, has complained that the BT ads infringe its copyright.

Mr Spowart said his logo was designed by The Union, an Edinburgh-based advertising agency, and was an integral part of the bank's identity and advertising. BT countered that the gesture was a universal symbol in sign language for "I'm on the phone," a claim confirmed by the British Deaf Association. (It is also a universal surfing symbol for "hang loose").

Last week the two sides met, and BT caved in. The phone giant agreed to withdraw the TV ads, designed by the UK's biggest ad agency, Abbott Mead Vickers, "shortly".

At least, that's the Standard Life Bank version. A BT spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that there was a meeting last week, but that she "hadn't got the information to confirm" that BT were withdrawing the ads.

She said that she didn't have the date on which the ads would end, and added: "It [the hand symbol] is an international symbol - we maintain that. We have used it in our advertising since 1992. We intend to use it again."

Sounds like Mr Spowart's tartan army still has some redcoats to deal with after all.

AS MANY as a third of City managers lack the ability to communicate effectively. That's according to a report from Business Strategies/Mori and commissioned by Focus Central London and the Corporation of London. The report finds that while three quarters of City employers believe communication skills are the most important skills needed, a third claim their managers lack them. In what will probably have City workers nodding in agreement, the report also says that over a fifth of employers also believe their managerial/professional staff to be deficient in management skills.

Derek Miles, director of operations at Focus concludes that "either promotions are coming too quickly or adequate training is not being provided."

MOST financial institutions in the City seem to be for sale at the moment. Now the Americans have snapped up one of our "leading providers of urgent, on-demand delivery services," a "leader in the London point-to-point market."

This has nothing to do with racehorses, but is in fact a reference to a motorbike delivery service. Dispatch Management Services of New York has just bought Delta Air & Road Transport, based in London, for $28m.

Delta owns two London despatch rider outfits, West One and Security Despatch, which together have 13 per cent of the London "point-to-point market". It certainly sounds like horse racing. Perhaps it means you can bet on whether your parcel arrives in time or not.

I'VE HEARD of film spin-offs, but this latest press release regarding the Titanic is stretching it a bit: "When the Titanic sank in 1912, fortunately for its owners, the White Star Line, it had adequate insurance cover for its liabilities.

"However, how many modern-day small businesses could cope if faced with their own equivalent of the iceberg?" How many indeed. So says Yorkshire Bank, which is launching a new insurance service for businesses. Let's hope the service's maiden voyage goes more smoothly than the Titanic's.

I AM delighted to report that my colleague Andrew Yates had a brush with greatness on Monday lunchtime, when he played football against Sir Bobby Charlton at Old Trafford.

Well, Andy would have had a brush, if he could have got anywhere near the sprightly 60-year-old World Cup hero. The occasion was a couple of matches between financial journalists and analysts and various teams drawn from Manchester United's management and staff, on the sacred Old Trafford turf.

The first match included Martin Edwards, chief executive of Man United, and his finance director David Gill, who formed a powerful partnership up front. The financial journos and analysts crumbled under pressure and lost 13-1. Paul Wedge from Collins Stewart scored the consolation goal at the Stretford End, while the scribblers' keeper Keith Weir, a journalist with Reuters, performed "heroically", I'm told, in keeping the score down so low.

In the second game our Mr Yates failed to get anywhere near Sir Bobby, not to mention Peter Kenyon, deputy chief executive of Man U and formerly of Umbro.

Alex Ferguson, the Reds' manager, and Brian Kidd, helping with the coaching, couldn't play, as they were preparing for the Blackburn game set for Monday night. Andy reports; "I came on at half time. We lost 8-5." Ah well, back to the word processor.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003