Business Diary: Fame for credit crunch leaders in London bar

Sunday 23 October 2011 06:06

Bernie Madoff, Mervyn King, Sir Fred "The Shred" Goodwin and Alistair Darling will always be synonymous with the recent credit crunch, but in London's Ladbroke Grove the "not-so fab four" are also plastered on the windows of a new bar, Liquid Nation. A member of staff said: "We opened the bar in an economic crisis last month and originally planned to call it Liquidation, but out of this came Liquid Nation." At least Sir Fred and Mssrs Darling and King have the option of visiting the bar, where all drinks are £2.50, but Madoff will only be able to read about it in The Independent from his US prison cell.

Next stop for Wolfson Marks & Spencer chief?

Sainsbury's Justin King, Home Retail's Terry Duddy, Asda's Andy Bond, Morrisons' Marc Bolland and Booker's Charles Wilson are just some of the names linked with the chief executive role at Marks & Spencer. But Simon Wolfson, the chief executive of Next, is a prime candidate who has so far largely been overlooked, says one retail boss. Mr Wolfson may seek the advice of Sir David Jones, who promoted him into his current role in 2001, about dealing with the media circus that surrounds M&S. But given the recent press furore over JJB, where Sir David is executive chairman, he may advise Mr Wolfson to stay put.

PR firm drinks to two inter-linked clients

Brunswick recently took over the PR account for First Quench Retail, the group behind the Threshers, The Local and Wine Rack fascias. But Diary understands that FQR has been in talks with Bibby Line Group, another Brunswick client, to take over its logistics contract after the off-licence group served notice to terminate a five-year contract in May. Not surprisingly, Brunswick – which is currently advising Bibby on its offer to buy Nisa Today's, the independent supermarket buyers' group – declined to comment on FQR's potential link to Bibby.

Scepticism discovered in public relations

At last, a sceptical PR. In promoting a new book, the US agency Smith Publicity says that art is directly linked to science and it also affects social and public policy. But it then says: "These statements might raise some eyebrows and invite scepticism." Well, just a tad.

Number of the day: 80bn

The number of text messages sent last year in the UK, equal to an average of 100 texts per person each month.

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