Media: Things we like

Pay-TV companies' adspend

Reports indicate that Virgin Media is increasing its adspend by 30 per cent this year, to a total of £170 million, which is good news for the ad industry. Virgin's resurgence, combined with the continued strength of Sky, should also continue to support innovation in TV. Both companies are backing their HD and other offers with masses of marketing, which is good news for advertisers as well as the agencies that work on the brands.

The Independent's 'new' editor

We were pleased to see The Independent confirm the appointment of Simon Kelner as its editor for the second time. The move ends months of speculation about the role and negative publicity surrounding the possible appointment of the former Radio 4 Today editor Rod Liddle. We thought Kelner did some interesting things in his last stint as editor and its emphasis on being a "viewspaper" seems in keeping with his previous innovations with its front page. Now it will be interesting to see what impact Alexander Lebedev's ownership has on the commercial performance of the newspaper.

The Twenty20 World Cup on Sky

The Bank Holiday weather might not have been the best but at least we were able to bask in a bit of Caribbean sun courtesy of Sky's coverage of the Twenty20 cricket (though England's first match against the West Indies was hit by a downpour). The action makes for perfect evening entertainment as the matches are played in a tight window and the boundaries keep on flying.

Wired's latest cover

Conde Nast's technology magazine is always a good read and its covers stand out in the market. June's is especially impressive, featuring a "scratch off" test, which ties in with a feature about the UK's "trust economy". Readers are invited to resist scratching off special panels that hide words relating to features, but if they do yield to temptation, the panels reveal words relating to "the trust experiment". In a week when all the talk at the PPA conference was on the impact of the iPad, it's good to see a magazine so grounded in technology using traditional formats so innovatively.


Celebrity political endorsements

Perhaps a celeb coming out in favour of a party increases its support on polling day but some of the names involved are less than compelling. The Tories have Carol Vorderman and Kirstie Allsopp on their side but at least had Take That's Gary Barlow in a photo opp with David Cameron. Labour, meanwhile, has Eddie Izzard and the Dragons' Den "star" Duncan Bannatyne in its camp, while the Lib Dems are backed by Richard Dawkins and Brian Eno. We're just waiting to see who Su Pollard supports before casting our vote.