We were impressed that music fan and keen drummer Richard Desmond led the Northern & Shell board in a chorus of The Carpenters' We've Only Just Begun on completion of his deal to buy the broadcaster Five. Perhaps other UK boardrooms should take note. For starters, a swift rendition of Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life or Here Comes The Sun would do wonders for morale at BP.
Metal Hammer's covers
Metal Hammer, the Future Publishing heavy rock title, has long been a pioneer in special covers and its September issue, on sale this week, continues the tradition. Celebrating the upcoming Iron Maiden album release, the cover depicts Maiden's mascot "Eddie" in blood-spattered 3D. Created in collaboration with the 3D format specialist Hive Associates, the cover should create standout and sales for Future, especially as the issue comes complete with an Iron Maiden mouse mat for the true fans. Advertisers, including Kawasaki, Jagermeister and EMI, should be equally pleased with the results.
We're encouraged that the agency formerly known as Mediaedge:cia decided to rename itself this week as simply MEC. Perhaps envious of the well-established minimalism that is Omnicom's OMD, MEC has started something that other media networks could follow. The reduction of a meaningless media agency brand to an even more empty three-initial tag should work for agencies internally and could prove attractive to clients who are increasingly faced with inputting agency names in pitch auction spreadsheets. So come on, MED, ZEN, INI and STA, it could be time for a rebrand.
Toy Story 3
It's shaping up to be an excellent summer for cinema, with Inception already attracting large audiences and The A-Team offering more straightforward thrills. And don't get us started on the 80s-style action fest The Expendables, starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke and Jet Li. But creaming the competition at UK box offices is Pixar's Toy Story 3, with its 3D version helping to attract the second-largest UK opening weekend of all time, collecting £21 million. It seems there's never been a better time for cinema, and the animated tale is perfect for the school holidays.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
More doom and gloom
The recent IPA Bellwether Report made for grim reading and its findings were broadly supported by research from the Marketing Society and Royal Mail, which showed that two-thirds of top marketers expect their budgets to be stagnant or in decline during the second half of 2010. Which is a shame given that some media owners this week reported a revival in fortunes.