Review

Stephen Byers, the secretary of state for trade and industry, has referred the proposed merger of Carlton Communications and United News & Media to the Competition Commission. General release

Stephen Byers, the secretary of state for trade and industry, has

referred the proposed merger of Carlton Communications and United News &

Media to the Competition Commission. General release





Nissan, Asda, Abbey National, News International and Diageo have pulled

all advertising from Channel 5 in a row between their media agency,

Carat, and the broadcaster over the cost of advertising on the channel.

Channel 5 has demanded that Carat increases its investment by 30 per

cent, or face a rate increase of between 5 and 10 per cent.

Marketing





The Virgin Group is investing pounds 30 million in a branding campaign

for the relaunch of the Virgin.com portal. It has not yet been decided

whether the pitch will be among Virgin’s roster agencies or thrown open

to all comers. Marketing Week





Compaq Computer Corporation is reviewing its pounds 188 million global

brand advertising account out of the incumbent, DDB. Lead generation

advertising is unaffected. CampaignLive





BT is planning to double its pounds 85 million adspend in the face of

increasing competition. Around 100 redundancies have also been made at

marketing manager level. Marketing Week





New PHD has won the European media planning and buying for

lastminute.com from the incumbent, Walker Media. The dotcom, which

appointed Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO last month, is spending up to pounds

2 million per month. General release





Chris Smith, the culture secretary, will publish proposals for an

overhaul of the Government’s broadcasting regulations in the autumn. UK

broadcasting companies will be allowed to compete globally as the

industry goes digital. The Guardian





AOL and Time Warner are to bolster the team of investment banks advising

on their merger, after a rally in Time Warner’s shares has indicated a

rival bidder in the frame. Financial Times





Marks & Spencer has appointed HHCL & Partners to handle the advertising

for a major online project for which it will link up with two, as yet

unnamed, partner brands. General release





Conde Nast’s Vogue is launching an online service in the UK, including a

daily news bulletin. A number of London agencies have been approached

for the account, said to be worth pounds 4.5 million. Marketing





Archie Norman, the Tory MP and former chairman of Asda who is still

acting as a consultant for the supermarket chain, has been pressurised

into ending his contract with Asda by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

The Guardian





A Channel 4 consortium has beaten off competition from BSkyB to secure a

period of exclusive negotiation with Britain’s leading racecourses about

a multimedia proposal to take televised horse racing into the digital

age. General release





The Spice Girls are being sued by bike manufacturer Aprilia following

Geri Halliwell’s exit in 1998.



The multi-million lawsuit is claiming that a TV campaign had to be

pulled when only four girls remained. General release.



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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).