Briefs

Midland Bank completed the rebranding of its 1705 branches last Sunday, and will change its legal name to HSBC Bank later this year. However, the bank still faces a legal challenge to its name change from HFC Bank, which claims consumers will confuse the two brands. The case is due to be heard next month.

Midland Bank completed the rebranding of its 1705 branches last

Sunday, and will change its legal name to HSBC Bank later this year.

However, the bank still faces a legal challenge to its name change from

HFC Bank, which claims consumers will confuse the two brands. The case

is due to be heard next month.



Dixons this week kicked off the marketing campaign for the flotation of

Freeserve, announcing that potential investors will have to register via

its web site. The company will float around 18.25% of the business in

July. The online registration requirement looks like a further bid to

boost traffic across its service, which now has 1.24 million active

users, up from 1.1 million earlier this year. Last month Freeserve

launched a high-profile above-the-line campaign, with creatives by M&C

Saatchi and media by Walker Media.



Iceland has won an international ethics award for its stance on

genetically modified food. The company won the global ethics category of

the 1999 Corporate Conscience Awards organised by the Council on

Economic Priorities, a US public research body which analyses

responsible corporate behaviour.



Asda has reduced the price of PlayStation games to pounds 28.99 at 120

stores, and says that it hopes to start a computer games price war.

Releases sold under the special offer include FA Manager, FIFA 99,

Rugrats, Tomb Raider 3 and UEFA Championship League.



SmithKline Beecham is launching a TV campaign on July 3 to promote a new

Ribena and Ribena Toothkind pack format. The ads, created by Grey,

feature comedian Robbie Gee strutting to the music of James Brown and

trying out a number of different packs. The tagline is ’a cool drink in

a cool pack’.



MGM Home Entertainment has appointed Don Hunton as commercial director.

Hunton joins from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, where he was retail

sales director. The appointment is part of a recruitment drive by MGM,

following a new worldwide distribution agreement with Fox Filmed

Entertainment.



CLK.MPL, the branding and design outfit, has launched a new

communications design consultancy, offering printed and electronic

publishing of marketing and corporate communications material. Ann

Alexander, previously managing director of MPL Literature, has been

appointed managing director of the new company.



Chelsea Building Society is promoting its cash-back mortgages with a

60-second DRTV commercial. The ad, through WWAV Rapp Collins West,

breaks this week on terrestrial and satellite channels. Chelsea first

tested DRTV ads in 1997 and has received 140,000 responses since.



Chupa Chups, the sugar lollipop brand, is launching a Star Wars lollipop

to tie in with the release of The Phantom Menace. The strawberry-

flavoured product contains a bubble gum centre, packaged with characters

including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul.



Bartle Bogle Hegarty has made two new senior management appointments at

its New York office, BBH US. Matt George joins from MediaCom as media

director, and Emma Cookson moves from BBH London to become strategic

planning director.



Emap Metro is launching a new campaign for its music title Q. Poet

Benjamin Zephaniah has been asked to write and perform a poem for a

radio ad, which airs on July 1. The campaign was devised by Banc.



Terry’s has launched a new variant of its Chocolate Orange brand called

Mini Segments. The packaging has been designed by Design Bridge, ahead

of the product’s launch in August. Mini Segments are individually

twist-wrapped chocolates.



Virgin Direct has reported deepening losses. The company revealed an

operating loss after tax of pounds 17.8m for the year ending December

1998, compared with pounds 16.4m for 1997. Rowan Gormley, chief

executive, said the figures were in line with expectations and claimed

the company will eventually move into profit.



Correction: In Adwatch dated June 24, 1999 we attributed the new Iceland

campaign to Ammirati Puris Lintas, with TV bought by Initiative Media.

In fact it was created by HHCL & Partners, with TV bought by Carat

Manchester.



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