MasterCard link for Brit Awards

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. MasterCard is to align its brand with music, signing a three-year deal to sponsor the Brit Awards.

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

19).



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

marketing director.



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

European Championships.



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.



’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.



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