TalkCo, the consortium led by Kelvin MacKenzie, is understood to
have agreed a price with CLT, the owner of Talk Radio, to buy the
station valued at around pounds 25m. The acquisition would be subject to
Radio Authority approval, with the deal completed over the next week and
MacKenzie taking over immediately.
Shell UK, which will close its HQ in 2000, is planning to relocate its
25 retail marketing staff to offices which are above, or near to, a
Shell petrol station so that staff are nearer to customers.
Italian fashion brand Diesel has appointed Armin Broger as general
manager and chief operating officer. Broger was previously
vice-president of marketing, Disney Consumer Products for Europe, Middle
East and Africa. He will report to Diesel president Renzo Rosso and
oversee the newly appointed marketing director Luca Fuso.
UK car manufacturers are blocking cheap imports of European cars into
the UK, according to the Consumers’ Association. A Department of Trade
and Industry select committee inquiry into car pricing is looking at the
evidence presented by the organisation (Focus, page 28).
Elida Faberge’s Harmony haircare brand, which achieved fame in the 80s
for its ’Is she ... Isn’t she?’ ad slogan, has been sold to newly
created personal care company, EMVI. Elida Faberge believed Harmony did
not have the potential to become an international brand.
Camelot is reviewing of its below-the-line account and has invited four
agencies, Hicklin Slade & Partners, Stretch the Horizon, Tequila Option
One and Greensquare, to pitch alongside incumbent agency KLP, which has
been working on the account since August. It was previously handled by
Saatchi & Saatchi.
A spokesman for Cellnet has defended its decision to launch a
pre-payment scheme called ’U’, after One 2 One served it with a writ
complaining that the brand is passing off its ’Up 2 You’ service.
Cellnet added that the marketing campaign for U, which began last week,
would continue as normal.
Marks & Spencer and Eidos Interactive have signed a deal to sell Tomb
Raider III merchandise exclusively in 65 M&S stores. The men’s range
includes socks, underwear, pyjamas and a sports bottle (Agenda, page
Arcadia, Britain’s second biggest high street clothing retailer, has
lost Karen Patterson, its brand marketing manager for Dorothy Perkins
and Evans. She has been replaced by Karen Hendry, formerly marketing
director at Oasis.
Somerfield has appointed Lisa Riley to the new position of customer
relationship marketing director. She will report to Phil Smith, group
Dyson Vacuum Cleaners is reviewing its pounds 5m pan-European media
buying account, currently handled by Concord.
MasterCard is to align its brand with music, signing a three-year
deal to sponsor the Brit Awards.
The company replaces Britannia Music Club, which was dropped after ten
years in May this year. At the time, sources claimed the awards had
gained in stature and that the organiser, the British Phonographic
Industry, believed it could attract a sponsor with a higher profile
(Marketing, May 7).
MasterCard is well known for its sports sponsorship, having sponsored
the past three World Cups, the UEFA Champions League and the past three
Its aim is to raise its profile to encourage banks to issue its credit
card rather than Visa, its main rival. Visa is currently conducting a
European ad review, likely to lead to a relaunch early next year.
A spokeswoman for MasterCard stressed that its sports associations would
continue, but added that it was seeking to broaden its appeal using
’Music is a major sector for credit card purchases and the music market
is growing, with sales up by 35% since 1992. The deal will help banks
increase their credit card business as we will be running lots of
promotions offering cardholders Brit Awards tickets and prizes,’ said
MasterCard marketing director, Rita Broe.
Broe added that MasterCard’s music involvement would be long-term and
that it was in discussions with the awards’ organisers, the BPI, about a
possible second event, such as a summer festival.