The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Paddy Ashdown, has called for
Rupert Murdoch’s ownership of the Times to be referred to the Monopolies
and Mergers Commission in the wake of the Chris Patten affair. In a
letter to Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, Ashdown
suggests Murdoch’s influence on the Times’s coverage of China may breach
an agreement he undertook on buying the paper in 1981.
Maiden Outdoor has extended its Mentor pre-testing service to cover
six-sheet as well as 48-sheet poster sizes. Mentor provides an
independent assessment of proposed creative treatments, using both
qualitative and quantitative analysis.
TMD Carat Manchester has landed the pounds 2 million media account of
Surface Coatings, the holding company for the retail outlets, Tile City,
JR’s Tiles and the Tile Clearing House. The creative work is being
handled by Black 433. Media was previously bought by MBS in London.
Katz Radio Sales has been appointed to handle airtime sales for Surf
107, the youth-oriented radio station in Brighton which is to launch in
the spring. The appointment was made by Gordon Drummond, the sales
director of Surf 107, who joined recently from Kiss 100 FM in London
where he held the same position.
Alan James, former board director of Ogilvy & Mather and TV buying
director of the Network, joins BBC Broadcast this week as head of media
planning within broadcasting and presentation. He will report to Pam
Masters, director of broadcasting and presentation, who said James’s
main task would be ’to enhance the BBC’s ability to communicate
effectively with all its audiences in a digital environment’.
The Radio Authority will advertise the first and only national digital
multiplex on 24 March. The multiplex already contains three existing
national commercial stations - Classic FM, Virgin Radio and Talk Radio -
and will be able to broadcast up to five new digital stations
nationwide. The closing date for applications is 23 June and the licence
will be awarded in the autumn.
Express Newspapers has expanded its recruitment advertising team with
the appointment of Ian Sprackling as its classified advertising manager
for recruitment. Sprackling was the former recruitment group head at the
Emap On Air has recruited Charlie Norton as head of sponsorship and
promotions for its television interests, which include the Box and the
forthcoming Magic TV. Norton joins Emap On Air from Kiss TV where he was
Myatt McFarlane has bought Home & Life magazine from XL Communications.
Home & Life, which is produced in conjunction with Milk Marque Consumer
Publications and sold by Britain’s milkmen, has an ABC figure of
214,000. The ad sales team will be headed by David Burridge.
Scottish Courage, through MediaVest, has signed a deal with VH 1 to
enable Beamish to sponsor the cable and satellite music station’s St
Patrick’s Day programming on 17 March. Both Beamish Black and Beamish
Red will feature in all the promotional airtime during the run-up to the
event and on all programme menus on the day itself.
The Sky sports commentators, Andy Gray and Alan Parry, are to front Talk
Radio’s World Cup coverage. The pair will commentate live on at least
one game a day, including England’s and Scotland’s matches.