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Vodafone has kicked off one of the biggest advertising pitches of the year after the mobile giant announced it is putting its global ad-buying and planning account up for tender.

WPP's Sir Martin joins board of Stanhope Capital

Sir Martin Sorrell, advertising giant WPP's chief executive, is joining the board of Stanhope Capital, one of Britain's biggest wealth-management groups – with $7.5bn of funds.

Investment Column: Synovate bid rumours weigh on WPP

Charles Stanley; Findel

Aegis shares soar on talks over £500m Synovate sale

Shares in Aegis Group hit a four-year high yesterday after the company confirmed it was in talks to sell its market research business to Ipsos. The London-based marketing group confirmed that Ipsos, the French company that owns pollsters Ipsos Mori, had made an approach to buy its Synovate business. The deal could be worth £500m, according to analysts. The shares closed up 7 per cent at 151p on the news.

Mad Memoirs: Ad Men through the pages

Forget industry awards, the real symbol of prestige in adland is writing a book on how to succeed in a notoriously fickle trade. Sam Delaney gets the hard sell

Business diary: Tesco's ruthless shopper pursuit

Is Tesco's pursuit of every last high street pound going just a little too far? Only asking, after seeing a customer, who had abandoned in frustration an attempt to buy a bottle of water at a self-service till, being pursuing down Wimbledon's high street by a staff member calling on nearby policemen for help to stop her. He escorted her back to the till and ordered her to complete the transaction, before an apologetic manager intervened.

The Week Ahead: Kingfisher set to enjoy bank holiday boost

The recent run of bank holidays, together with plenty of sunny weather, means Kingfisher's first-quarter results, due out on Thursday, should be encouraging.

Bet of the week? US unemployment figures

The relatively quiet week could turn noisy on Friday when key US unemployment stats are issued. The non-farm payroll numbers are expected to come in at 195,000 and unemployment is expected to tick down to 8.9 per cent.

WPP's Sorrell says he is 'optimistic'

Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of advertising giant WPP said he was "cautiously optimistic" over the group's prospects for the year.

Poacher turned discreet gamekeeper

The City's best-known PR man made a lucrative move from financial journalism. But can the Yes2AV campaigner win on voting reform?

Market Report: Fears on advertising outlook push WPP back

As the blue-chip index crept back from a seven-week high, WPP was among those left in the red after fears were raised over the advertising slowdown seen by the broadcasters spreading to the agencies.

WPP forges 'unholy alliance' with Vice stake

Sir Martin Sorrell has dusted off his youth credentials with an investment in Vice Media, the group that publishes Vice, the self-confessed "coolest magazine in the world".

Investment Column: Wolseley turns the income taps back on

Man Group; Faroe Petroleum

Who are the winners and losers in Osborne's Budget for growth?

The Chancellor's attempt to kick-start the economy has had a mixed reception from the business community.

David Prosser: It is not Sorrell that the Chancellor needs to convince but our lenders

Outlook George Osborne was delighted with the affirmation for his Budget provided yesterday by the WPP boss, Sir Martin Sorrell. But the advertising guru was not the only one who had spent the night poring over the small print: the team at Moody's were also on the case and the conclusions they reached will have been rather less palatable for the Chancellor.

Diary: Facebook founder's status slip update

It's a little late to clear up all those sex-based (alleged) inaccuracies in The Social Network, but Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg – worth £8.4bn, ladies – has finally changed the relationship status on his own Facebook profile to "In a relationship". Remarkably, his girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, really was attracted to the billionaire's looks, personality and/or GSOH: the pair have been dating since 2005.

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