Scottish Media Group, which owns Scottish Television Enterprises,
Grampian, The Herald and the recently launched Sunday Herald, revealed
healthy preliminary annual results on Monday, with turnover up 5 per
cent to pounds 207.4 million. Profits before tax came to pounds 46
million, representing a 12 per cent year-on-year rise. United News and
Media has denied it is considering a bid for SMG.
Havas, the French media giant, has put its Avenir poster division up for
sale with a price tag of pounds 300 million. The division includes the
Mills & Allen poster company. The rival poster contractors, More Group
and TDI, are understood to be interested in Avenir, while Carlton
Communications has also been looking at the company. A deal is expected
within the next two months.
The Radio Authority has been cleared by an independent inquiry of acting
improperly in awarding a licence to Essex Radio’s Vibe FM with which its
chairman, Sir Peter Gibbings, had been connected. The inquiry, conducted
by the accountancy firm, Grant Thornton, found that the licence was
awarded fairly, although it concluded that it ’would have been
preferable’ if Gibbings had not taken part in the process.
Carat Group has been awarded the Investors in People standard which
recognises best practice in human resource development. According to
Carat’s chairman, Ray Kelly, the award ’involves every member of staff
and the process now forms a central part of our development plans’.
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO spent more than any other ad agency on radio
advertising last year, according to analysis carried out by the Radio
Advertising Bureau and AC Nielsen MEAL. The agency spent pounds 19.8
million, followed by BMP DDB (pounds 18.5 million) and McCann-Erickson
(pounds 13.7 million). Radio billings across the top 20 agencies have
almost doubled in two years, from pounds 99.4 million in 1996 to pounds
179.3 million in 1998.
Conde Nast Independent Magazines will launch GQ in South Africa later
this year. Daniel Ford, currently editor of Independent Newspapers’
Sunday Life, will edit the magazine.
Equus Publications will launch a glossy lifestyle magazine called Racing
Review on 31 March. The monthly will cover the international racing
world and look at the personalities behind the sport. The magazine will
cost pounds 2.50 and be distributed through W. H. Smith and major
independents in the UK and Ireland.
Rapture TV has signed up the video and computer games rental giant,
Blockbuster, to sponsor its new teenage games show, G@mers. The deal
includes break bumpers and an on-air competition which gives viewers the
chance to win Blockbuster discount cards and money-off vouchers. The
deal will initially run until the end of June.
Mike Rowley, group ad sales director, classified and innovator, has
taken voluntary redundancy from IPC Magazines. Cathy Neale, head of
classified sales, has been appointed classified ad sales director.
Meanwhile, IPC’s TV Weeklies Group has appointed Colin Tough as
executive editor of business development. He joins from IPC’s new-media
Romsey Publishing is to launch Garden Ideas, a magazine targeted at
readers interested in quick-fix gardening solutions. The title goes on
sale next Friday and will be distributed to garden centres and
supermarkets as well as newsagents. It will have an initial print run of
75,000 and cost pounds 1.95.
Total Media has been appointed to handle media planning and buying for
the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau. The client will spend pounds
500,000 in April and May with further campaigns planned later in the