Tarmac set to face the future with a green T

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The Independent Online
Tarmac, the venerable construction group, has spent the past 18 months planning and implementing a gigantic overhaul - of its "exciting new image". This has extended from letterheads to signs on building-site helmets, logos on the sides of dump trucks, the lot. Identity consultants Sampson Tyrell have been the lucky recipients of Tarmac's cash for the job.

Gone is the 30-year-old "seven T's" logo, which employees thought was old fashioned and redolent of "bricks, road-building and out-dated notions about construction". The new logo, the sixth since 1910, is in green with a little green "T" attached in a golden oval.

A Tarmac spokesman refused to say how much the exercise cost, although total implementation will run into millions. The company says the new typeface and symbol "confirm that we are one Group, united by a single purpose. It is distinctive and forward looking". I rather like the 1910 logo myself.

British Gas is to apologise to a customer whose name it ridiculed in a letter, and has sacked the temporary employee responsible. The letter, sent to Ruth Snell Rainbow Van Gogh, began: "Dear Mrs Snellrainbow-hallucinogenicexperience." The former York city councillor said: "I may not have the most average or run-of-the-mill surname. However, I strongly resent the almost libellous implication that this makes me some sort of druggie."

She said she has written to her MP Hugh Rayley and the Gas Consumers' Council. A British Gas spokesman said: "When the complaint was received the employee was questioned and admitted he was responsible. His contract terminated immediately. He had apparently regarded the whole matter as a joke."

The tumultuous saga of Sunday Business, the newspaper launched by entrepreneur Tom Rubython three weeks ago, continues to be far more enthralling than Brookside. Jason Nisse, associate editor of Sunday Business and former writer for the Independent, among others, has resigned - after just two issues.

Mr Rubython described it yesterday as "an amicable resignation... it's not un-amicable". Delroy Alexander, a reporter who came from Investors Chronicle, has also handed in his notice and intends to go to Jamaica to join the Jamaica Gleaner, a newspaper.

Mr Rubython dismissed as "absolute rubbish" reports that Sunday Business had received new funding from Century 2000, a northern service group. Since the original backers pulled out in the week before the launch Owen Oyston, the socialist millionaire, has provided finance, but that was just for the launch, Mr Rubython said.

So was Mohammed Al Fayed, the Harrods boss and potential politician, in the frame to buy the paper? "No," according to Mr Rubython. How about rumours that staff had not been paid? "They have been paid - they wouldn't be here otherwise," he said.

Meanwhile Mr Nisse will have his leaving drinks this evening, just three weeks since the launch. Tune in next week for another gripping instalment...

"Norway, nil point." Readers of a certain age will remember Norway was the first country to score nil in the Eurovision Song Contest. The country was completely overshadowed by its neighbour Sweden, which spawned the mighty Abba. All that has changed. Norway won last year and is hosting the next competition, to be held on 18 May in Oslo.

Now the Eurovision sponsor SND, the Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development Fund, is publishing a series of newsletters to spread the word about the country's "innovative enterprise culture." Did you know that Norway runs courses for Swedes on how to celebrate their national day? That "crisps made of air-dried prawn, cod and smoked salmon are the latest snack sensation in Norway"? No, I didn't think so. Last but not least, Norway is the world's biggest camel exporter. All together now, "Boom bang-a-bang, boom bang-a-bang, that's how it goes."