Two wheels are better than four (well, in the right weather and for relatively short distances at least). So it's good news all round that Transport for London has earmarked 2010 to launch a city-wide bicycle hire scheme. TfL invited companies to pitch for the contract to operate the scheme last week. As JCDecaux holds the contract for a similar scheme in Paris and Clear Channel has one in Barcelona, we expect a tussle over who can get Londoners on their bikes.
The Economist's 'The World in 2009'
There are some who may prefer to consult Mystic Meg to see what 2009 holds, but we'd recommend The Economist's annual forecast of trends in its special "The World in 2009" edition. The contributors include Henry Kissinger, Lakshmi Mittal and Lula da Silva. But if you're looking for good news, don't hold your breath. Its editor, Daniel Franklin, says: "Anyone hoping for a period of calm after the turbulence of the past year will be disappointed."
Thinkbox Televisionaries event
Last week's Thinkbox Televisonaries conference seemed to go down well with the assembled audience of agency people and clients. Content was well thought out, the speakers interesting and the hospitality excellent. The venue, the former church at One Marylebone Road, also seemed to suit the general approach of doing something a bit outside the conference venue norm. Only one complaint from the larger-boned and muscled attendees - the chairs were quite hard to squeeze into.
It was good to see the return of Jack Bauer in this week's two-hour 24 special on Sky1. Bridging a gap between series six and the new series seven (which airs on Sky1 in January), Jack was to be found in the fictional African nation of Sangala doing ridiculous things like fighting local warlords and generally shooting up the countryside. As an exciting, extended trailer for the new series though, this was just the job and there were some fine supporting appearances from Jon Voight and Robert Carlyle.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
The end of Tiger Woods' GM contract
The turbulence in the global markets had yet more impact on advertising this week when General Motors announced that it was ending its relationship with Tiger Woods, who has endorsed its products in ads for nine years. Less bad news perhaps for Woods than other, more minor celebrities, who might see their lucrative ad contracts go the same way as the recession bites. And bad news for ad and sponsorship agencies searching for a quick-fix creative solution.