NEWS: HOTLINE

BT has beaten NatWest in the struggle to sign the Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly, as an advertising spokesman, according to sources. Connolly has been in advanced negotiations with NatWest for several months but last week finally chose BT. Sholto Douglas-Home, BT’s advertising manager, said BT had not signed a contract with the comedian, but admitted they were in talks. ‘He has researched extremely well as someone who can continue the role of a BT guide,’ Douglas-Home said. Ads starring Connolly are expected to break this summer. Douglas- Home insisted Connolly would not replace Bob Hoskins.

BT has beaten NatWest in the struggle to sign the Scottish comedian,

Billy Connolly, as an advertising spokesman, according to sources.

Connolly has been in advanced negotiations with NatWest for several

months but last week finally chose BT. Sholto Douglas-Home, BT’s

advertising manager, said BT had not signed a contract with the

comedian, but admitted they were in talks. ‘He has researched extremely

well as someone who can continue the role of a BT guide,’ Douglas-Home

said. Ads starring Connolly are expected to break this summer. Douglas-

Home insisted Connolly would not replace Bob Hoskins.



D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles has made ten redundancies, which the

chairman, John Farrell, described as ‘regrettable, but necessary for

greater efficiency’. The casualties include the copywriter, Loz Simpson,

who won a Cannes Gold Lion for his work on the Halifax Building Society

while he was at Bates Dorland, and has only been at DMB&B for only six

months.



Ad breaks in programmes such as News at Ten could be a thing of the past

following a vote by the European Parliament this week. It has voted in

favour of dropping commercial breaks in news and current affairs

programmes with less than 30 minutes of editorial content. Ad breaks in

films of fewer than 90 minutes may also be lost. The vote now has to be

ratified by the European Commission.



TMD Carat and Eurospace have joined forces to launch a company dealing

specifically with product placement and advertiser-supplied programming.

Entertainment Marketing will be headed by Nick Robertson, a former

associate director of TMD, and Quentin Griffiths, the former brand

profile manager of TBWA.



Energizer batteries has turned the battle for its pan-European account,

now believed to be worth pounds 24 million, into a contest between BBDO,

the incumbent, and Bates Europe, which has the account in the Asia-

Pacific region (Campaign, 2 February). KBW has fallen out of the

contest.



The contest for the task of spearheading Avis Rent-a-Car’s return to

above-the-line advertising in Britain and Europe will be a straight

fight between Bates Dorland and Lowe Howard-Spink. Publicis and TBWA

have been dropped from the shortlist.



The UK jurors at the 1996 Cannes Festival are Alex Taylor, the deputy

creative director of Saatchi and Saatchi, Pat Doherty, a senior

copywriter at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, and Mike Cozens, the creative

director of Young and Rubicam. The jury will be presided over by Michael

Conrad, the group president and deputy chief creative officer of Leo

Burnett Worldwide.



Ammirati Puris Lintas has appointed Paul Longhurst, the Lintas Paris

European media director and former joint media director of Bartle Bogle

Hegarty, to the new post of executive media director. William

Eccleshare, APL’s new chief executive, said the appointment reinforced

APL’s commitment to keeping media in-house.



The British Animation Awards this year voted the Levi’s ‘clayman’ ad, by

Bartle Bogle Hegarty, as its favourite commercial. J. Walter Thompson

won the prize for the most creative use of new technologies for its

Smarties ‘smartipants’ ad, through Aardman Animations, and the Terrence

Higgins Trust ‘knobs in space’ ad, also by Aardman through Simons Palmer

Denton Clemmow and Johnson, was voted best commercial at the cutting

edge.



Leagas Shafron Davis has resigned its Stag furniture business after

reports that the company was seeing presentations from other agencies

(Campaign, 2 February). The agency said it had decided to end its nine-

month tenure of the business after being told that there were no plans

for a significant adspend this year.



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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).