People and Business: M&S's bouncer

STRANGE SCENES at the Marks & Spencer results press conference yesterday, where a posse of burly bouncers were on hand to prevent any crowd trouble among the journalists. One of the guards from "Sabre Security" was built like the proverbial outside loo.

Just why M&S's press advisers, Brunswick, decided to hire the bouncers to man the doors was a mystery to journos. Irate shareholders at annual meetings, OK, but who's going to cause a hullabaloo at a press conference?

A spokeswoman insisted: "Its just routine security. We weren't expecting any trouble and we didn't get any." The bouncers were also there to safeguard the journos' bags, she added.

All very odd. Following the announcement of M&S's near-halving of profits, one wag mused; were the bouncers there to keep riff-raff out, or to keep the M&S managers from doing a runner?