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
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
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
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