For those who don't pick up any awards at Cannes this year, there's one way to cheer yourself up that doesn't involve drinking the Gutter Bar dry. Unilever has rocked up to Cannes with an ice-cream vending machine that gives out free fare in exchange for a smile (yes, really). The hi-tech machine, developed by SapientNitro, is smile-activated - it is equipped with a digital screen that measures the grin of the person standing in front of it (a photo is also taken for uploading to Facebook). The gurning customer can then pick out their free ice-cream by using the touchscreen interface. Mr Whippy has officially entered the digital age.
Sky Sports on BT Vision
At long last, it looks like Sky Sports 1 and 2 will be available on BT Vision. Last week, BT was given permission to offer the premium sports channels, which should be available in time for the 2010/11 football season. It will be the first time that sports fans can get the channels without a Sky or cable subscription, and although BT is yet to confirm the charges, it has said the price will be "sharp" and less than £20 a month.
The arrival of Glasto et al
The festival season really hots up this weekend with the mainstay Glastonbury and the relative newcomer Hard Rock Calling in London's Hyde Park hosting a plethora of established and up-and-coming acts, including (in the former category) Stevie Wonder, Muse and Paul McCartney. Expect the BBC to use its licence fee to go all out with hours of TV and radio broadcast from Glastonbury, while the best bits of Hard Rock Calling will be broadcast on the commercial station Absolute Radio.
'Mirror Football HQ'
Mirror Group Newspapers has provided a consolation prize for any planners and buyers who failed to justify (or be offered) a trip to South Africa to watch the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The central London pub the Kings Arms, which has been transformed into "Mirror Football HQ", is showing every game of the tournament and offering free drinks and food. The Mirror sales team will be on hand to offer advice on how planners and buyers can include the group's stable of newspapers in any live briefs, of course.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
ITV's World Cup performance
Despite widespread forecasts of bumper ad revenues during the tournament, ITV's coverage of the World Cup has been disappointing so far. In the first week, ITV diverted coverage of England's first goal to an ad for Hyundai, had streaming problems on ITV Live and sacked the pundit Robbie Earle. The big-money transfer Adrian Chiles has received a less-than-raucous reception, and although James Corden's show is managing to get okay audience numbers, his repackaging of TFI Friday fails to recreate the magic of the original.