Wednesday, 24 December 2008

News from Virgin Media

RACHEL STEVENS ‘TURNS ON’ VIRGIN MEDIA’S
NEW 50Mb BROADBAND SERVICE

Strictly Come Dancing star Rachel Stevens officially switched on the new Virgin Media 50Mb broadband service in London today, to mark the launch of the UK’s fastest broadband service.

The new ultrafast 50Mb broadband is nine times the speed of average headline broadband speed in the UK, meaning that fans will be able to stream and download catch-up shows like Strictly Come Dancing, faster than ever before. Virgin Media’s new 50Mb service signals the launch of the first next-generation broadband network in the UK and will allow Brits to enjoy new and more engaging content such as high quality online TV, gaming and music services.

Rachel Stevens said, "I use the internet every day so broadband is essential and the faster the better, as it means I can fit more into my day! I'm in regular email contact with my team and friends and I'm re-designing my website at the moment which involves lots of imagery approval so I couldn't be without it. I love fashion and browse and buy clothes online. This year I'm Christmas shopping online too! Virgin Media's ultrafast 50Mb broadband means I can surf faster and download music and Strictly Come Dancing clips in a fraction of the time, which, when things are as busy as they are at the moment, helps make life a lot easier."

The 50Mb service will allow users to download an entire music album in as little as 11 seconds; a TV show in around a minute, a high quality movie in as little as 3½ minutes and a high definition movie in around fifteen minutes. The increased performance also means that multiple users can be on the internet at the same time, all with a fantastic experience, making it perfect for families, working couples, home-workers as well as individuals wanting the best in broadband. To find out more please visit www.virginmedia.com/50

-Ends -

For further information/photography, please contact Sophie Smallwood/Toby Steele

on 020 7693 6999 or virginmedia@frankpr.it

Friday, 19 December 2008

News from Premier Inn

BRITAIN’S GREENEST HOTEL TO OPEN THIS DECEMBER

On Monday 8th December Britain’s greenest hotel will be opened by Premier Inn, the UK’S largest budget hotel chain. The hotel will set the standard for environmentally friendly hotels.

Guests at the 20-bed Premier Inn Tamworth (Staffordshire) will enjoy the same facilities and amenities as at a ‘normal’ Premier Inn but with the knowledge that they are sleeping ‘green’. Rooms will still cost from just £53 per night.

The building materials and technology used in the new hotel are not matched anywhere else in Britain and have been heralded as an example to other hotel chains by The Carbon Trust. The hotel will reduce energy use by 80% vs. a standard hotel; thanks to radically different approaches to heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation.

Premier Inn has over 550 hotels in the UK and says this new site at Tamworth is a flagship site for the company to trial the best green technologies available, to see which are viable for their hotels in future - a move welcomed by Building Research Establishment (BRE).

Key features of Britain’s greenest hotel include:

1. Natural Energy From the Earth – ground-source heat pumps will use the earth’s natural energy to cool and heat rooms and provide hot water throughout the hotel.
2. Re-using Water - toilets flushed with recycled water from showers and baths will save 20% of the hotel’s entire water usage and will provide 100% of the hotel’s toilet water usage
3. Inventive Insulation – sustainable sheep’s wool from British sheep is used in the walls to create exceptionally efficient thermal and acoustic insulation
4. Clever Lighting – low energy Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting with motion sensors ensures lights are only on when needed – an energy saving of 80%.
5. Here Comes the Sun - solar panels will heat bath water

Staff at the new hotel will be trained to understand the technologies behind the design and to help with minimising everyday energy and water consumption, such as in washing, water usage, excessive heating or cooling.

Guests will be able to see the energy saved as part of a visual display in the hotel lobby, as well as learn about the technologies that have gone into the new building.

Alan Parker, CEO of Premier Inn’s parent company Whitbread, says “This hotel is truly ground-breaking in that this combination of technologies has never been used before in any hotel in the UK, let alone a budget one. We chose from a range of technologies that we believe deliver the most positive social and environmental impact on future hotel buildings.

As well as designing the hotel to be energy efficient, we will also be involving our team members and customers in the green challenge. This is a unique joint approach which we will be testing in Tamworth as a first step to making more green changes across our hotel estate.”
-Ends-

For more information, images or to interview a spokesperson from Premier Inn, please contact Lisa Rebak or Katy Stolliday at Frank PR on 0207 693 6999, or e-mail premierinn@frankpr.it

Notes to editors

About Premier Inn … Premier Inn is the UK’s biggest and fastest-growing hotel brand with over 550 budget hotels and more than 38,000 rooms across the UK. Premier Inn bedrooms are 22m² and feature en-suite bathroom, TV, and internet access for business guests. Premier Inn offers customers a ‘Good Night Guarantee’ of a good quality room, comfortable surroundings and friendly service, which is unique amongst Britain’s leading hotel chains.

Premier Inn, part of Whitbread plc, was the first Britain-wide hotel group to sign up with national tourist board VisitBritain; this means Premier Inn is now part of a new quality assessment scheme, specially created for budget accommodation.

A joint venture with Emirates has seen the Premier Inn brand develop in the Gulf region, with its first budget hotel in Dubai in Spring 2008. Premier Inn also has a joint venture with Emar-MGF to roll out 80 budget hotels in India by 2017. On a domestic front, Premier Inn is set to be the largest provider of budget hotels in London by the time of the 2012 Olympics.

Premier Inn has been confirmed as the leading Economy brand in the JD Power European Economy Hotel Guest Satisfaction Survey 2008. Premier Inn was awarded Best Budget Hotel at the Business Traveller Awards 2008.

www.premierinn.com

News from Premier Inn

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS…
AT LEAST AN HOUR IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR, SAYS BRITAIN’S MEN


Metrosexual males will be hogging the hairdryer this Christmas, with 90% saying they undertake a total of 22 pampering rituals, taking at least an hour, before a night out.

The research revealed today by Britain’s largest and fastest growing hotel chain, Premier Inn, shows the days of a quick shower, shave and splash of Brut are long gone.

Some of the more unexpected beauty rituals guys admitted to in the poll include trimming their nether regions, plucking their eyebrows and wearing their trusty pulling pants.

The research proves that the metrosexual male is as strong as ever, and for one in ten men an hour is just not long enough, with their beautifying regimes lasting up to 4 hours. That’s nearly 7 million hours[1] of mirror monopolising by men this December.

Premier Inn Marketing Director, Steve Conway, said: ‘A large number of guests staying with us in the run up to Christmas will be planning to attend a festive celebration. With an en-suite bathroom, hairdryers, big bath towels and full length mirrors available in every Premier Inn room, both men and women will have everything they need to make sure they are looking their best.”

Scots come top of the beautifying charts, with 92% of them taking well over an hour to prepare for a night on the tiles.

For the capital’s fashionistas, picking an outfit poses the biggest dilemma with nearly 80% of Londoners trying on several outfits to ensure they are looking their best.

The residents of Cardiff are keen to impress, with a third taking up to 4 hours to get ready and 1 in 5 trimming their nether regions before a night on the tiles – that’s twice as many as the national average!

And the nation’s natural beauties, taking the least amount of time to get ready, are the Brummies with more than one in three of them getting ready for a big night out in less than 30 minutes.

-Ends-

For more information please contact Carly Hewitt, Lisa Rebak or Katy Stolliday
on 0207 693 6999 or email premierinn@frankpr.it

Notes to editors:
Premier Inn, winner of Best Budget Hotel at the Business Traveller Awards 2008, is the UK’s largest and fastest-growing hotel brand with over 500 budget hotels and more than 36,016 rooms across the UK. Premier Inn bedrooms are 22m² and feature en-suite bathroom, TV, and internet access for business guests. Premier Inn offers customers a ‘Good Night Guarantee’ of a good quality room, comfortable surroundings and friendly service, which is unique amongst Britain’s leading hotel chains.

Premier Inn was the first Britain-wide hotel group to sign up with national tourist board VisitBritain; this means Premier Inn is now part of a new quality assessment scheme, specially created for budget accommodation.

A joint venture with Emirates has seen the Premier Inn brand develop in the Gulf region, with its first budget hotel in Dubai in Spring 2008. Premier Inn also has a joint venture with Emar-MGF to roll out 80 budget hotels in India by 2017. On a domestic front, Premier Inn is set to be the largest provider of budget hotels in London by the time of the 2012 Olympics.

Premier Inn has been confirmed as the leading Economy brand in the JD Power European Economy Hotel Guest Satisfaction Survey 2008.

www.premierinn.com
[1] Based on 10% of the adult male population taking over an hour to get ready for an average of attending three parties this December

Thursday, 18 December 2008

News from Brylcreem

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE HAIRY
Boris, Brand & Ross take the Brylcreem Best & Worst Celebrity Hairstyle Awards 2008

10th December 2008, The British public has decided that Boris Johnson has the best celebrity hair of 2008. Continuing his popularity with voters, London Mayor Boris Johnson has secured a surprise second victory to close the year, topping the style stakes and being crowned Brylcreem Best Celebrity Hairstyle Award, 2008. Meanwhile, Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross have another reason to feel red-faced, being named 1st and 2nd respectively in the Worst Celebrity Hairstyles of 2008.

The research, carried out to celebrate the 7th annual Brylcreem National Men’s Hair Week, questioned people from across the UK to find out which male celebrities score best and worst in the hairstyle stakes.

Commenting on his win, Boris Johnson said: “I'm baffled but delighted by this award. Thank you very much to everyone who voted for me. I’m afraid that other people probably pay more attention to my barnet than I do and over the years I’ve had various suggestions for what to do with it including a Mohawk. However, the Johnson hairstyle is, I fear, impossible to imitate, as it is a product of random and competing forces of nature.”

GMTV’s Ben Shepherd, who plays it stylishly safe with a short back and sides scooped second place while it is Prince Harry who picks up 3rd , beating his brother Prince William who the public voted among the Worst (11th), to be in line to the style throne.

Meanwhile, house wives favourite John Sergeant might have hung up his dancing shoes but his sense of self expression continues to earn the public’s approval as he waltzes his way into the top ten of Best.

Heading up the Worst, Brand and Ross may be keeping low profiles following the Sachsgate storm, but their taste is once again called into question as their unique hair-dos lead them to be jointly named bottom of the style stakes.

And while Simon Cowell will be feeling chuffed to have his protégée Eoghan Quigg reach the X Factor final this weekend, the mentor seems to be doing little favour in setting up the 16 year old to top the style charts, with them both sporting Worst Celebrity Hairstyles.

On the sports field, Manchester United goal-machine Wayne Rooney and BBC Sports Personality nominee Andy Murray appear to have spent too much time picking up trophies at the expense of looking in the mirror, coming in 3rd and 8th respectively.

Best Celebrity Hair 2008:
Boris Johnson
Ben Shepherd
Prince Harry
James McAvoy
Peter Jones
Guy Ritchie
Alex Zane
Danny Cipriani
Kevin Pietersen
John Sergeant

Worst Celebrity Hair 2008:
Russell Brand
Jonathan Ross
Wayne Rooney
Gordon Brown
Simon Cowell
Eoghan Quigg
Pete Doherty
Andy Murray
Rhys Ifans
Robert Kilroy Silk

Although Boris says his hair is impossible to imitate, Brylcreem Style Director Louis Byrne gives his advice on how to achieve ‘The Boris’:

“Underneath that messy exterior there is a strong, structured haircut which forms the foundations of Boris’s look. The length of the hair is left long with lots of texture cut in to it, this creates the loose frayed edges and undone quality. When styling, the key is to use a long-lasting non greasy hair paste, like Brylcreem’s antiStyler, to help hold the texture and cut of the hair.”

Thursday, 27 November 2008

News from Sir Alan Sugar

SIR ALAN SUGAR TO FRONT NEW APPRENTICESHIPS DRIVE AS LANDMARK EDUCATION AND SKILLS BILL BECOMES LAW

Sir Alan Sugar will be the face of apprenticeships in England in a new TV advertising campaign, ministers announced today.

The self-made business leader and star of TV’s The Apprentice will front a high-profile advertising campaign being aired from February 2009 promoting the benefits of taking on apprentices to employers and championing work-based qualifications.

It comes as the Education and Skills Bill received Royal Assent and became law – landmark legislation today welcomed by high-profile employers, charities, trade unions and professional associations.

This will mean that all young people will stay in education or training until the age of 18 from 2015 and more adults across England will be given the legal right to free training.

The legislation builds on ongoing reforms to expand participation to 18 - through introducing new Diplomas and extending work-related learning, alongside more traditional qualifications such as A-Levels and GCSEs.

Ministers hope to bring forward new legislation – at the first opportunity – to strengthen and massively expand apprenticeships, with the number on offer increasing to around 400,000 in England by 2020 – covering one in five young people, compared to just one in 15 at present.

The new legislation will also help many more adults take advantage of the opportunities of an apprenticeship with an aspiration of 250,000 people beginning their training by 2020.

Ed Balls, Children, Schools and Families Secretary, said:

“Sir Alan Sugar is synonymous with success, hard work and determination – so it’s great to have him on board. I know young people and employers will listen carefully to his support for apprenticeships and that his backing will ensure that they are given the recognition they deserve.

“Expanding and strengthening apprenticeships is a key stepping stone to addressing the need for skilled workers, dealing with challenging economic times and paving the way toward extending the education and training age to 18.

“This legislation is the biggest change to education and training in a generation and will benefit millions of young people for decades to come. This is a bold step and one that we have not taken lightly. Everyone must continue learning if we are to have a fair society where all young people have a chance to do well in life. Too many young people drop out or end up in dead-end jobs with no prospects of promotion or advancement.

“A job for life is a thing of the past. Young people without qualifications are going to find it increasingly difficult to gain employment. We must have an evolving education system that reflects the requirements of employers and the fast pace of change in business. No young person should be left behind.

“We do not expect every 16 and 17 year old to remain in school – young people will be free to work as long as they are learning too. This system is about creating real opportunity all so there is something for everyone.”

John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said

“We have rescued and expanded apprenticeships, ten years ago only 65,000 people started one and today that figure has almost trebled to more than 184,000. And we have driven up the chances of completion, in 2001/02 completion rates were 24 percent and today they are 63 per cent. We want to see many more people having the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship with at least 250,000 doing so by 2020.

“Sir Alan Sugar has proved that hard work and commitment can lead to success, and many apprentices share those qualities. I hope that even more individuals and employers take advantage of the opportunities that our expanded and improved apprenticeship programme offers them.

“The expansion in apprenticeships is backed up by today’s historic Education and Skills Act. For the first time all adults in this country with very few or no skills have a legal right to free training, meaning that they have the opportunity to realise their full potential and improve the lives of their families.

“In addition we are offering a legal right to all young people up to 25 to gain the essential technical skills needed by business to boost their chances to progress in their careers and contribute to our economic success.

“Ensuring people have the chance to obtain a wide range of skills, whether by doing an apprenticeship or doing a vocational course is the most effective way to boost the life chances of those with very poor skills and support social justice.”

Sir Alan Sugar said:

"Young people need choices that motivate them - not everyone who leaves school at 16 has the drive to succeed that I did. The fact is that some people learn better on the job or by seeing how their learning applies to the real world – that’s why I’m backing apprenticeships.

“People who do apprenticeships become ambitious, they’re ‘doers’, the kind of people who will make things happen. These are the qualities I look for in people. Success is all about finding people like this – people who will help make any business grow, especially in times like these. It’s important that employers take apprenticeships seriously – apprentices make things happen and can help a business to grow and thrive. "

Education and Skills Act 2008

The key elements of new legislation are:

· Education and training age raised to 17 by 2013 and to 18 by 2015 – ensuring that every young person is in some form of recognised education or training until they are 18. No young person will be forced to stay at school there will be a range of opportunities, including, part time training alongside employment, work based learning and apprenticeships.

· Giving all adults in England from August 2009, the legal right to funding for:
basic skills courses (literacy level 1, numeracy entry level 3);
a first level 2 vocational qualification (the same standard as 5 good GCSEs);
a first A level equivalent (level 3) qualification for all 19-25 year olds (including vocational qualifications at this level).

· Enshrining in law that all adults are entitled to basic skills (including literacy and numeracy), first GCSE-level vocational (level 2) and 19-25 year olds their first A-Level equivalent qualification (level 3).

· improvements in the quality of information, advice and guidance and support available to young people by:
o transferring the responsibility for delivering the Connexions service to local authorities, enabling more integrated and targeted support; and
o making it clear that it must be impartial and in the best interest of the young person. Makes improvements to the regulatory regime for independent and non-maintained special schools.

· legislative changes to put into effect the Secretary of State for Children’s announcement on 14 October of an end to key stage 3 tests from summer 2009; and

· toughening up compliance with the mandatory School Admissions Code – requiring all local authorities to report annually on whether schools are complying with the mandatory Code and widening the independent watchdog, the Office of the School Adjudicator’s powers, to investigate and deal with unlawful admission arrangements.

Notes to Editors

1. More than 130,000 employers currently hire apprentices and there has been a three-fold increase in the last decade in the numbers available. There are more than 180 types of apprenticeship available in more than 80 sectors of industry and commerce

2. To find out more, employers should visit apprenticeships.org.uk or call the apprenticeships helpline on 08000 150 400.

3. Commenting on the Education and Skills Bill getting Royal Assent:

News from Virgin Media

Sacré bleu! Brits name French icon queen of cool: Carla Bruni tops Virginmedia.com Cool List 2008

Cross-channel rivalries have been put aside as the First Lady of France, Carla Bruni, is today named the coolest person of the year in the Virginmedia.com Alternative Cool List 2008. The former model and singer-songwriter has rocketed to the top of the poll with almost a quarter (22 per cent) of all votes, in a year that has seen her marry French president Nicolas Sarkozy, release her third album and stay with the Queen on a state visit to Britain.

In the week that the NME prepares to unveil its Cool List of hot young personalities, the Virginmedia.com poll of over 4,000 Brits reveals Carla, a former girlfriend of Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, is the people’s choice to be crowned queen of cool in 2008. Beating a number of cool kids who are likely to appear on the NME list, Carla has had a remarkable year that included a performance alongside Metallica on Later With Jools Holland and an auction of a nude photograph of her selling for more than 20 times the expected price at Christie’s.

Beating an enviable list of female musicians to the top spot, Bruni is tailed by alternative singer Kate Bush (14 per cent), British girl band Girls Aloud (13 per cent) and American singer Beyoncé (10 per cent) in the poll. Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant (nine per cent) is the top male to appear in the Virginmedia.com Cool List 2008, the full results of which can be seen at http://www.virginmedia.com/cool-list. The most surprising entry in the poll comes in the form of Peter Kay’s fictitious character and singing sensation Geraldine McQueen who also received nine per cent of the vote after beating X-Factor’s real winner Leon Jackson in a recent chart battle.

Also completing the list is Kylie (seven per cent) who conducted her KYLIEX2008 European tour earlier this year and currently celebrating his 50th year in music, Cliff Richard received four per cent of nominations together with manband Take That who are continuing their cool comeback. Sir Paul McCartney received three per cent of votes together with Jay-Z who appears seven places behind his wife Beyoncé after a secretive marriage earlier this year. Finally, British singer Estelle makes up the top twelve coolest characters of 2008 with two per cent of the vote.

Virginmedia.com Cool List 2008

Carla Bruni - 22%
Kate Bush - 14%
Girls Aloud - 13%
Beyoncé - 10%
Robert Plant - 9%
Geraldine - 9%
Kylie - 7%
Cliff Richard - 4%
Take That - 4%
Paul McCartney - 3%
Jay-Z - 3%
Estelle - 2%

News from Virgin Media

Kelly Osbourne makes cinema debut: Kelly gets animated in a big screen ad for Virgin Media

Kelly Osbourne is making her cinema debut this week in the latest ad campaign from Virgin Media. Following in the footsteps of Mel B and Mick Hucknall, the rock chick has been immortalised using state-of-the-art animation techniques to appear alongside Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, promoting Virgin Media’s TV on Demand service.

Kelly, who shot to fame alongside her zany family in fly-on-the-wall show ‘The Osbournes’, is the third celebrity to be animated for Virgin Media’s cinema ads. American company So! Animation captures the star in her element as she takes to the silver screen to highlight the array of TV shows available on demand to Virgin Media customers. A back catalogue of whole TV series, from complete seasons of classics such as Friends and The Sopranos to newer shows including Big Love, The OC and Nip/Tuck, Virgin Media’s TV Choice on Demand offers the pick of the best TV to watch whenever you like.

From Friday 21st November, cinema-goers will be entertained with Kelly paying a tongue-in-cheek visit to fictional rehab clinic ‘The Friary,’ to see a therapist who specialises in SADOS – ‘sons and daughters of stars’. In a bid to direct Kelly away from her late night encounters with the paparazzi and her ‘partying lifestyle’, the therapist prescribes she ‘gets her kicks’ at home with Virgin Media. In the ad, Kelly is hugely excited by the prospect of a dose of TV rehab and she leaves the clinic satisfied, whilst the audience see the therapist revealed as Sir Richard Branson in disguise.

Hugely entertained by the ad, Kelly said, “I am thrilled with the animation – the likeness is uncanny and they’ve even got all of my tattoos in the right places!”

Ashley Stockwell, managing director of brand and marketing at Virgin Media added, “We’re delighted to have Kelly on board for our new cinema ad - she is the perfect choice for promoting the variety of TV shows available in our huge TV on Demand library, for customers to watch whenever they want. Her animated alter-ego looks fantastic, capturing her expressions, style and mannerisms perfectly – even down to her trademark Christian Louboutin shoes!”

To view the ad, go to www.virginmedia.com/kellyo

News from Bennetts

Beware of the Billboard Beauties:
Bennetts reveal Girls Aloud are top distraction for bikers on the road

Having achieved a series of number one hits, best-selling albums and dozens of awards, Girls Aloud have been awarded with yet another accolade – they have been named the biggest distraction on the road in the last year by motorcyclists, according to
a survey by Bennetts, the UK’s number one for bike insurance*,

The results released today reveal over a third (35%) of UK bikers admitted taking their eyes off the road to catch a glimpse of the pop princesses in their recent advertising campaign.

The survey shows the girl band were the top distraction for a second year running, with their campaign for Kit Kat Senses proving as disorientating as the familiar Sunsilk shampoo ad in 2007, when they also topped the study. In second place was Eva Longoria with 31% for her Magnum ice-cream campaign and getting helmets turning in third was the face (and body) of Triumph Bra range, Louise Redknapp, with 13% of the vote. Despite having a baby girl last year, Myleene Klass continues to make her mark as she models for M&S in fourth position whilst rounding-up the top five is Eva Longoria once again, with her silky brown tresses in her L’Oreal shampoo ads causing a stir amongst 3% of the bikers surveyed.

Director at Bennetts, Paul Galligan, said of the findings; ‘It’s very interesting to see how easy it is for motorists to take their eyes off the road and judging by the results, using attractive females is a very effective way of advertising! We hope that by identifying that some billboards can lead to distraction, it will encourage bikers to save the staring for when they are at home.’

Most distracting billboard adverts


Girls Aloud for Kit Kat Senses - 35%
Eva Longoria for Magnum ice-cream - 31%
Louise Redknapp modeling for Triumph Bras - 13%
Myleene Klass in a yellow and white bikini for M&S - 10%
Eva Longoria modeling for L'Oreal shampoo - 3%

* Based on brand tracking research in April 2008



Tuesday, 4 November 2008

News from Ocado

‘IN’ IS THE NEW ‘OUT’
Brits Replicate Restaurant Dinners At Home

(November 04, 2008) Figures released today reveal Britons are beating the ‘Crunch’ by switching from eating out to whipping up gourmet meals in the kitchen.

Online grocer Ocado analysed the shopping baskets of one million of its registered customers and noted a surge in people buying premium meat cuts - featuring highly were veal escallops, up some 30%, and sirloin steak, up over 50%.

Quality ingredients are being washed down with higher value wines, with a 15% increase in consumers paying between £10 and £15 a bottle, versus a 15% decline in bottles under £5.

Across the board there has been a 15% in sales of cooking ingredients, pointing to a firm rise in ‘scratch cooking.’ Chopped tomatoes have shot up 129% and fresh cooking sauces are up by 165%. Conversely ready meals have fallen by 5%.

Other notable changes in the make-up of UK shopping baskets include:

Luxury ice-cream and sticky toffee pudding sales – up 42% and 159% respectively, suggesting customers are further enhancing their ‘dining in’ experience with indulgent desserts

Organic sales – slid to 13% of the average shopping basket in the summer (their lowest rate since 2005) but are buoyant again at 14.5%

London organic capital of the UK - Londoners fill 17% of their shopping basket with organic produce, compared to 14% nationally

The residents of Notting Hill aren’t reigning in their tastes – they’re ordering five times more Champagne than the rest of the UK and spending an additional £8 per bottle.



Editors’ Notes:

1- All figures detailed represent year-on-year, 2007-08

About Ocado:

Ocado (http://www.ocado.com/) was established in 2000, started trading in 2002 and is now one of Britain’s leading online grocers. Unlike its competitors, Ocado operates a centralised distribution model which means that it does not rely upon a network of stores from which to service customers. This approach has numerous benefits including, not least, a significantly reduced environmental impact. Ocado boasts over 15,000 product lines including Waitrose and John Lewis-branded goods; most recently it has launched non-food lines such as toys, magazines and fresh flowers.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

News from Premier Inn

THE REAL COST OF HALF-TERM FOR UK PARENTS

As every penny counts whilst the credit crunch bites, research unveiled by Premier Inn today shows that keeping kids busy during this half-term is going to cost UK families an extra £374.39[1].

This is on top of normal living costs like mortgage/ rent, food and clothing for their brood; so parents nationwide will need to tighten their belts to shoulder the load. This means that this half-term UK parents will experience costs which total a whopping £2.7billion[2].

To help families still enjoy half-term fun, Premier Inn, the largest and fastest growing hotel brand, has a ‘Great Days Out’ scheme that offers great value family breaks. Families staying at a Premier Inn can get a ‘2 for 1’ or ‘kids go free’ offer at a selection of over 800 attractions across the UK, with kids staying and eating breakfast free, costing from just £50 per family room.

Typical costs for the coming half-term include:
Unpaid leave per parent per day - £65.11
Additional childcare per average family per week - £91.56
Average attraction entry fee for the family for a day (e.g. zoo/ theme park/ castle) - £57.87
Lunch/ refreshments - £30.00
‘Extras’ (e.g. guide book/ souvenirs) - £77.44

Premier Inn spokesperson Steve Conway, Head of Marketing for Premier Inn, said:
“Holiday time can be really fun for children, but this half-term is going to put a lot of financial pressure on families. Given the current economic climate, and with Christmas looming, parents across the UK are going to feel it even more than usual. Premier Inn offers a great value alternative, to allow families to have a short break, without having to break the bank.”

-ends-
For further information please contact Carly Hewitt or Katy Stolliday on 0207 693 6999 or e-mail premierinn@frankpr.it

Notes to editors:
For hotel bookings please visit http://www.premierinn.com/ and for images please visit the Whitbread image library http://www.whitbreadimages.com/
Premier Inn is the UK's largest and fastest-growing hotel brand with over 556 hotels and 38,000 rooms across the UK.
Premier Inn bedrooms are 22m² and feature en-suite bathroom, TV, and internet access for business guests. Premier Inn offers customers a ‘Good Night Guarantee' of a good quality room, comfortable surroundings and friendly service, which is unique amongst Britain's leading hotel chains.
Premier Inn was the first Britain-wide hotel group to sign up with national tourist boards, VisitBritain, VisitScotland and VisitWales; this means Premier Inn is now part of a new quality assessment scheme, specially created for budget accommodation.
A joint venture with Emirates has seen the Premier Inn brand develop in the Gulf region, with its first budget hotel in Dubai opened in Spring 2008. Premier Inn also has a joint venture in India with Emaar-MGF to roll out 12,000 rooms in 10 years.
Premier Inn is part of Whitbread PLC, the UK's largest hotel and restaurant company. It's restaurant brands, Beefeater, Table Table, Brewers Fayre and Taybarns are also dedicated to providing great value for families.
[1] £374.39 cost of half-term for the average UK family of 1.64 children calculated by:
· Unpaid leave per parent for one day - £65.11 (average UK wage according to ONS)
· Weekly UK holiday childcare cost is £91.56 for 5-day full-time holiday playscheme according to Daycare Trust.
· Average attraction entry fee per day based on 2 adult, 2 child entry to six leading UK attractions (Drayton Manor Park, Chester Zoo, Camelot Themepark, Howletts Animal Park, Diggerland Devon, Diggerland Durham) = £57.87
· Average family train travel cost - £52.41 (calculated on combined average cost for 2 adults and 2 children travelling by train to Drayton Manor Park from Birmingham, Chester Zoo from Manchester, Camelot Themepark from Liverpool, Howletts Animal Park from London, Diggerland Devon from Bristol, Diggerland Durham from Newcastle)
· Lunch/refreshments - £30 (based on 4 x lunch @ £5, 4 x drinks £1.00, 4 x ice creams @ £1.50)
· ‘Extras’ such as guidebook & souvenirs - £77.44 (based on average examples, such as guidebook @ £3.50, priority parking @ £3, fast-track pass @ £6, souvenirs x 2 @ £19.97, rain coats x4 @ £6.25)


[2] £2.7 billion figure based on 7.4million UK families. Each family spending £374.39 this half term= £2.7 billion spent this half term in total by families.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

News from npower

14th October 2008

BRITAIN’S GOT GREEN TALENT
Piers Morgan announces the UK’s Top 100 ‘green-agers’

Piers Morgan and TV presenter Konnie Huq today announced the UK’s top 100 ‘green-agers’, who have been hand selected to take part in npower’s Climate Cops programme and receive coaching from an array of green experts. The latest instalment of the £20 million programme kicked off this morning with the npower ‘Green SOS Academy’ a first of its kind workshop, specially created to help motivate 11 to 13 year old eco-aware students to turn their passion for the environment into positive action.

Chosen from hundreds of school entries, the 100 stand-out finalists are crusading to make changes in their local communities, including transforming recycling programmes, introducing outdoor classrooms and enforcing car-sharing schemes for drop-off parents.

The npower ‘Green SOS Academy’ is a bespoke workshop designed to give practical tips and tricks on how to turn these ideas into reality. As part of the day the students participated in interactive sessions led by:

- Piers Morgan: With over twenty years of media experience under his belt, Piers tutored the students on how to harness the media to publicise their cause
- Konnie Huq: As a favourite tween media presenter and aspiring ‘green queen’, Konnie hosted the day and inspired the students to take their green message to their peers
- Eugenie Harvey, We Are What We Do Founder: one of the minds behind Anya Hindmarch’s ‘I’m not a plastic bag’, the book ‘Change The World For A Fiver’ and the latest offering ‘Teach Your Granny to Text and Other Ways to Change the World’, Eugenie mentored the students on creative ways to make a difference and engage communities

Danielle Whittaker, from Hillcrest specialist Maths and Computing College and sixth form centre, Birmingham said, "It was amazing meeting Piers Morgan today and the other guest speakers. After today I'm even more excited about getting our project to create a garden and greenhouse up and running!"

Piers Morgan commented: “Today a lot of brands run CSR programmes to help the environment, but it is refreshing to see activity like the npower Climate Cops programme that fosters green talent from a young age and allows students to make their own decisions on what they can do to help. As a father inspired by my children’s green aspirations, I think it is important to nurture this passion as it will drive real change and safeguard the future.”

Konnie Huq said: “Having spent the majority of my career working with young people, I know that the environment is a real concern for them and they are passionate about making a difference. The npower Climate Cops programme, which follows the Government’s Sustainable Schools curriculum will help raise a new generation of eco-aware young adults that will go on to inspire others.”

Eugenie Harvey, Founder of We Are What We Do, commented: “Today’s young people are going to inherit some of the toughest challenges we have ever faced. Initiatives like the npower Climate Cops programme are such an important part of equipping the next generation with the skills and confidence to start making a difference to these problems and to continue doing so throughout their lives. We’re delighted to be involved.”

Endorsed by HRH, The Duke of York – Chairman of The Outward Bound Trust, the leading outdoor education charity - the next step in the Climate Cops programme will see students from the ten schools participate in the first ever green Outward Bound® course in the Lake District, offering them the chance to learn about sustainable living, climate change and leadership through challenging practical outdoor experiences.

To check out the top tips that the ambassadors shared with the students, please visit the Climate Cops website: www.npower.com/GreenSoS

High resolution images and video clips will be sent to your picture desks by 11am and will also be available to view and download free of charge from http://www.vismedia.co.uk/

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

News from Honey Monster Foods

Honey Monster Foods Team Up With Top Trend Setters To
Design Limited Edition Packs For Charity

Honey Monster Foods has teamed up with internationally renowned model Daisy Lowe, top designer Pearl Lowe and SuperSuper Magazine to create three limited edition packs of Sugar Puffs to be sold exclusively at Harrods.

Each pack has a unique style influenced by the passions and personalities of our three designers, and will retail at £4.95 when they are launched on the 15th October.
Only 150 of each pack will be sold at exclusive Knightsbridge store Harrods, with all proceeds from the sales of the packs going directly to the Variety Club Children’s Charity, helping sick and disadvantaged children all over the UK. With such limited numbers the packs are sure to sell out fast and quickly become collectors’ items.

Sugar Puffs has been one of the nation’s favourite breakfast cereals for over 50 years and this is the first time that the packs have been customised in this individual and distinctive way.

Jane James from Honey Monster Foods said: “We are really excited to have Daisy, Pearl and SuperSuper designing packs for us; each pack looks so unique and really displays the personality of its creator. It’s great that their amazing designs will be raising money for the Variety Club, which does so much good work for kids.”

Daisy’s pack combines a mêlée of 80s shapes and colours fused with a twist of modernity to convey today’s trend for retro styling, and her position as one of the most sought-after young models in the world.

The gold and silver of Pearl’s packaging quite literally reflects her love for pattern design, and combined with the delicate artwork gives the design a vintage boudoir feel, indicative of her status as an original member of the Primrose Hill set.

The pack designed by SuperSuper directly conveys the unique style of the magazine. The artwork has a young and fun feel to it together with an uber cool appeal, which inevitably translates from SuperSuper’s position as the stylistic vanguard for today’s youth.

News from Bennetts

Bikers say no to Volvo - British motorcyclists vote Swedish car most hated in survey

Volvos have been voted the most hated car on the road in a survey of British motorcyclists. The Swedish car manufacturer, whose XC90 model was once voted one of the top ten safest cars, topped the Bennetts poll with almost a third (28%) of UK bikers dreading an encounter with a Volvo.

The survey released today by Bennetts, the UK’s number one for bike insurance*, reveals the perception of the slow and considerate Volvo driver (like Mr & Mrs Bucket from Keeping up Appearances) has vanished. With newer models such as the large V70 and the popular S80, it seems Volvo drivers are becoming increasingly unaware of bikers on Britain’s roads.

The research, compiled from bikers up and down the country, put Volvo on the top spot, but BMW wasn’t far behind with 27% of bikers considering them the most dangerous cars on the road. Over the past year, motorcycle accidents have risen to over 6,000**, with a large proportion of those involving car drivers who look but fail to see bikers on the road. With numerous blind spots and huge doors, it’s not hard to see why BMW models such as the X5 and the classic 5-Series would cause concern for bikers.

Unsurprisingly, next on the hit list of most hated cars on the road was Porsche with 16% of the overall vote. Although normally the same height as a bike, the Cayenne 4x4 monster may explain why the German car giant is third in the poll. Land Rover (13%) and Mercedes (6%) make up the rest of the top five, proving that if you have a large vehicle, it pays to look out for bikers on the roads.

Top 10 most hated car’s on Britain’s roads
Volvo - 28%
BMW - 27%
Porsche - 16%
Land Rover - 13%
Mercedes - 6%
Ford - 3%
Jaguar - 2%
Volkswagen - 2%
Nissan - 2%
Mini - 1%


*Based on brand tracking research in April 2008
**Based on stats from Think! Road Safety
- Ends -

News from Virgin Media

You are what you watch: the UK's first TV diet: Virgin Media proves reality TV may be good for you

Ditch the Atkins, scrap the South Beach and abandon Weight Watchers - today sees the nation’s first ever TV Diet unveiled by Virgin Media. The research reveals different TV programmes elicit different emotional and physical responses in viewers and so our TV consumption should be balanced in a similar way to a standard diet. With no programmes off limits, the Virgin Media TV Diet is high in comedy and reality to boost energy levels and low in factual programmes to steady heart rates and anxiety.

The TV Diet was created following the admission that 71 per cent of the nation regularly tune into whatever is on the box, without actually thinking about what they are taking in. Programmes were split into six genres and in a series of experiments, Virgin Media psychologist Honey Langcaster-James put a number of telly fans through their paces to record responses to a range of TV shows.

Just like the nutritional five a day, the Virgin Media TV Diet is a six a week plan that balances programmes to ensure we’re consuming all the necessary physical and psychological benefits. Using services such as Virgin Media TV on demand, which includes highlights from the last seven days of programmes as well as a back catalogue of complete TV series, viewers can create their own TV schedules based on the weekly portions prescribed in the TV Diet.

The Virgin Media TV Diet

Reality TV may finally shed its ‘trash TV’ tag, as the research reveals real-life shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and The Family are actually good for us. With benefits such as helping to reduce stress levels and improving social interaction, reality TV is the second most important TV genre for Brits to watch, and has been allocated one fifth (20 per cent) of our recommended weekly viewing in the Virgin Media TV Diet.

Laughter is often deemed the best medicine and the Virgin Media TV Diet prescribes a large dose. Making up the biggest proportion of the TV diet at over one third (35 per cent) of our weekly viewing, comedy programmes such as Ugly Betty and re-runs of Friends were found to release happy endorphins, as well as being one of the most absorbing TV genres, offering escapism and relaxation.


Whilst news and documentaries rank as the most informative and thought-provoking programmes, the TV Diet recommends this genre is watched in moderation and factual shows should be kept to only five per cent of our weekly viewing. Shows such as the Question Time and Dispatches were found to provide educational benefits, but may also increase stress levels.

Fans of soaps such as EastEnders and sports shows including Match of the Day can still indulge as each genre is allocated 15 per cent of our weekly viewing time, whilst dramas such as Tess of the D’Urbervilles should ideally represent only 10 per cent of the TV we watch.

Whilst the TV Diet doesn’t prescribe how much time viewers should spend watching each genre, earlier research found one third of Brits watch up to 20 hours of TV a week, which means the TV Diet would include a whopping 4 hours of reality TV (20 per cent), 7 hours of comedy (35 per cent), 3 hours of both soaps and sports (15 per cent), 2 hours of drama (10 per cent) and just 1 hour of factual (5 per cent) content per week, as a guideline.

Commenting on the findings, Honey Langcaster-James said, “Different TV programmes provoke different emotional and physical responses, and therefore cater to the different emotional needs we have as a viewer. Just like our food intake, watching a balanced selection of TV programmes is essential, which is why we developed the Virgin Media TV Diet – whilst some things are better for us than others, nothing is ruled out and everything should be watched in moderation.”

Ashley Stockwell, managing director of brand and marketing at Virgin Media said, “Whilst many people are already consuming a balanced TV Diet, there are some people who seem to be stuck in a rut of TV viewing. We believe that everyone has the right to break free from the TV schedule and dip in and out of live TV and TV on demand. As we launch the Virgin Media TV Diet, we aim to make Brits more aware of their TV viewing habits and hope to encourage them to experiment and take advantage of the content available on our TV on demand service. There is no reason for telly fans not to start their TV Diets today!”


To download a pdf summary of the TV Diet report, check out www.virginmedia.com/tvdiet

Ends

Media contacts
Sophie Raine, Frank PR, 020 7693 6999 or sophieraine@frankpr.it
Laura Bryce, Frank PR, 020 7693 6999 or virginmedia@frankpr.it


Notes to Editors

Research based on monitoring a sample group to assess the biological and emotional effects of watching TV. A series of short clips of television shows applicable to each genre where shown to each participant respectively. After every clip heart rate and perspirations levels were recorded. Participants were also required to complete a short questionnaire in relation to their feelings about the clip and their current emotional state. Fieldwork undertaken on 30th September 2008 in Central London.

All findings collated and a summary of the report can be found at: www.virginmedia.com/tvdiet

Virgin Media

Virgin Media is an innovative and pioneering UK entertainment and communications business. For the first time consumers can get everything they need from one company - the UK's only quad-play of TV, broadband, phone and mobile, plus the most advanced TV on demand service, all delivered through its unique fibre-optic cable network. Virgin Media launched the UK’s first high definition TV service, is the only TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer, and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder. Virgin Media is the UK’s largest residential broadband provider, the largest virtual mobile network operator and the second-largest provider of pay TV and home phone.
Virgin Media owns two content businesses - Virgin Media Television (VMTV) and sit-up. VMTV owns seven entertainment channels – Virgin1, Living, Living 2, Bravo, Bravo 2, Challenge and Trouble - and is a 50% partner in UKTV which consists of nine channels including Dave, UKTV Gold and UKTV History. sit-up runs retail TV channels bid tv, price-drop tv and speed auction tv.
Virgin Media has been voted the sixth Most Loved Brand in Britain in a Marketing magazine poll, as well as having been voted the Most Trusted ISP Brand 2008 by Reader’s Digest magazine. The Sunday Times also awarded Virgin Media its 2008 Best Buy awards for broadband and movies on demand.
Virgin Media is the largest Virgin company in the world and has almost 10 million customers. To find out more visit www.virginmedia.com/presscentre.

News from Budweiser

BUDWEISER DEDICATED TO MANCHESTER UNITED


LONDON (Oct. 7, 2008) – Budweiser and Manchester United announced a renewal of their partnership, extending the beer brand’s proud sponsorship of the world-famous football team through the 2009/2010 season. Budweiser has supported the club since 2002. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.



Manchester United boasts 333 million followers worldwide1 and more than 80 million people in 200 countries view broadcasts of each match,2 making the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League double winners the most-watched sports franchise in the world.



Budweiser’s presence at Old Trafford – the Theatre of Dreams – includes exclusive pouring rights at concessions and digital on-field signage displayed in both English and Mandarin, which is seen by Manchester United’s massive Chinese fan base.



“Manchester United represents the pinnacle of football and the club’s popularity, like Budweiser, spans the globe,” said Tony Ponturo, vice president, global media and sports marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “Manchester United and Budweiser are a perfect match, both having strong, storied heritages and a commitment to being the best. As Budweiser continues to expand internationally, our connection with Manchester United helps create awareness and excitement for the brand around the world.”



Local activation of the partnership helps reach adult consumers far beyond the 76,000 people who pack Old Trafford for every match. The sponsorship grants Budweiser rights to use the Manchester United marks and player images in advertising, point-of-sale materials and packaging in key markets in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, North America and South America.
“Budweiser is dedicated to football and has been a valuable partner to Manchester United,” said David Gill, chief executive of the Manchester United Football Club. “Budweiser’s use of Manchester United for marketing activities has brought loyal followers closer than ever to the Club and helped create many new Red Devils fans along the way. The Club and, most importantly, our fans are pleased to have Budweiser’s support.”



The sponsorship also provides Budweiser with hospitality packages and match tickets for promotional activities, which the brand uses to offer customers and consumers once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the Theatre of Dreams. Throughout the 2008-2009 season, Budweiser will launch promotions in the U.K., Mexico, Argentina and Vietnam for consumers to win trips to Manchester United matches.



In 2008, Old Trafford once again played host to the international finals of the Budweiser Cup, a 6-on-6 football tournament comprised of recreational teams from 16 countries. Players qualified through local tournaments throughout Europe and as far away as India, Paraguay, South Korea and South Africa. In addition to competing on the pitch, Manchester United welcomed Budweiser’s international guests at a dinner with the Club’s legends, a tour of Old Trafford, access to training facilities and tickets to a first team match.



Budweiser has been a proud sponsor of the Premier League since 2002. The brand has been the “Official Beer” sponsor of the FIFA World Cup™ since 1986 and will continue its support in 2010 and 2014.



Based in St. Louis, Anheuser‑Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.5 percent share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world’s largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser‑Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer, and a 27 percent share in China brewer Tsingtao, whose namesake beer brand is the country’s best-selling premium beer. Anheuser-Busch ranked No. 1 among beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine’s Most Admired U.S. and Global Companies lists in 2008.





Anheuser‑Busch is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and one of the world’s largest recyclers of aluminum cans. For more information, visit http://www.anheuser-busch.com/.

# # #


1. TNS Fanbase Survey 2007.
2. Premier League; 2006-2007 Season Data.

News from WWE

WWE makes Forbes 2008 list of "200 Best Small Companies"

World Wrestling Entertainment has made Forbes 2008 list of "200 Best Small Companies." WWE is listed at #122. We were among 37 newcomers to the list.

Forbes annual list of Best Small Companies identifies the strongest small public outfits. To qualify, companies must have sales between $5 million and $750 million and a stock price of $5 as of Sept. 29. The ranking is based on return on equity, sales growth and profit growth over the past 12 months and also over five years. Forbes also compares company stock performance with industry peers.

It's a family affair at WWE (No. 122). Vincent McMahon is a regular character in the company's live televised matches. (He got his head shaved last year by Donald Trump, after the Battle of the Billionaires). His wife, Linda, is chief executive. Together the family owns 66% of the Stamford, Conn., company. Its popular WrestleMania in March featured 147-pound boxing champion Floyd Mayweather going up against 441-pound wrestler Paul (Big Show) Wight. Mayweather won by a knockout, with the help of a metal folding chair and a pair of brass knuckles.

To see an interview with Linda McMahon on Forbes.com, go to: http://www.forbes.com/video/?video=fvn/ceo/js_ceowwe100808

For the general article, go to:
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/2008/10/08/best-small-companies-ent-200smalls08-cz_kb_cs_1008intro.html

For the brief on WWE, go to:
http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/08/best-new-companies-ent-200smalls08cz_kb_1008new_slide_7.html?thisSpeed=15000

WWE Stats Page:
http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/23/biz_200smalls08_World-Wrestling-Entertainment_76AO.html

News from Ski & Snowboard Show

Catch Europe’s best riders at the Metro Ski and Snowboard Show

22nd – 26th October 2008 Olympia, London

This October the elite of Europe’s Freeskiers and Snowboarders will be descending on London Olympia to battle it out on a monster 40ft kicker at the Metro Ski and Snowboard Show. The stage is set for an immense showdown between the crème de la crème on the snowsport scene, as they take part in the British Snow Tour Invitational Championship and the London Ride competition.

On Friday 24th October the British Snow Tour presents the British Invitational Big Air Championships, featuring 12 of the UK’s top Snowboarders and Freeskiers. Olympic Snowboarder Dan Wakeham and 2008 British Freeski Slopestyle Champion James Webb be throwing down some huge air and crowd-pleasing tricks. Also scheduled to appear are young guns Sam Cullum, Sparrow Knox, James Wakefield and Jamie Nichols.

On Saturday 25th October, style and amplitude will be the order of the day as The London Ride hits town. Expect to see big rotations and massive tweaked out grabs from the elite of Europe’s freeskiing stars, including Germany’s number one freestyle skier, Roy Kittler and Swedish sensation Henrik Harlaut.

Roll up and find out if 2006 and 2007 London Ride winner Mikey Wakefield can defend his crown and bag the coveted £1000 1st prize. In a London Ride first, an additional six up and coming, home grown riders will be selected from the Urban Ride 08 event series to take part in the competition. They’ll be looking to put themselves on the map so watch out for some big tricks from these talented youngsters.

Amongst the hype of these un-missable contests, you shouldn’t forget there’s plenty more happening at this year’s show that will help kick off the Winter season.

Return of the Gigloo!
The XFM-hosted ‘gig in an igloo’ is back and boasts an awesome line up of live bands every night of the show, with DJ’s and Breakdance workshops during the day.

For press enquiries – please contact the Ski show team at Frank PR on 0207 693 6999 or email skishow@frankpr.it

Friday, 19 September 2008

News from Monster Munch



WALKERS RETRO REVIVAL SEES THE RETURN OF THE ORIGINAL MONSTER MUNCH!

For all those grown ups who have spent years wondering if it is their growing hands that made Monster Munch appear smaller, they will be pleased to hear that Walkers Snacks is rewinding the clocks, and returning the snack to its original monster size!

The re-launch comes in response to growing consumer demand and will take Monster Munch back to the original retro pack design and old texture, flavour and crunchiness that consumers remember and love.

The re-brand will see the loveable Monster Munch Monsters, stars of the 70s and 80s advertising campaign, back on pack. The monsters will stir memories for millions who remember the ads with the same nostalgic fondness as the A-team, space hoppers and leg warmers!

Dominic South, Monster Munch Senior Brand Manager, says:
‘We’re hugely excited to be re-launching Monster Munch and taking the brand back to how it used to be. Consumers have made it clear through both our own research and within online communities that they miss Monster Munch the way it used to be. It’s great that a product like this can evoke so many memories for people and we think the re-launch will appeal to the big kid in us all!’

From September the re-branded Monster Munch will be back on shelf, as Mega Monster Munch, available in Roast Beef, Pickled Onion and Flaming Hot flavours. Each 40g packet will have a RRP of 50p and will be based on the original pack design complete with the reappearance of the Monster Munch Monsters.

Monday, 8 September 2008

News from ASDA

BEAT THE CREDIT CRUNCH: HOW BRITISH HOUSEHOLDS CAN SAVE £27K
Small changes in daily life can save thousands

The average UK household[1] can save over £27,000 throughout the course of a lifetime[2] and decrease their carbon footprint by making small, everyday changes to the way energy is used in the home, according to a report[3] released by ASDA today.

The study by York University’s Centre for Sustainability Accounting (CenSA) also reported that these changes would have a significant impact on the environment, saving 209 tonnes of Co2 during a lifetime, the equivalent to travelling 115,000 miles by car.

On the back of the study, ASDA launched a booklet giving customers tips and advice on easy ways to save money and live a healthy lifestyle, while helping the environment at the same time. Included is advice such as, changing 10 light bulbs to their energy saving equivalent could save a household £50 a year. In addition, mock kitchens are being set up in 18 of its key stores around the UK to bring to life how simple it is to make these changes.

The report found that substantial savings can be made throughout a lifetime by taking simple actions. Turning the heating down by just 1 degree can save a household almost £6,000 and not heating the house when it’s empty can save a further £4,500. Also, just by not leaving appliances on standby, each home can save over £2,000 during a lifetime – if all households in the UK did this then it would save enough electricity to power 1.2 million homes every single year. Pennies can also be saved every time a cup of tea is made, simply by using just the right amount of water in the kettle.

The following table details the possible financial savings for households across the UK. It also shows the significant benefits on Carbon Footprint with the amount of CO2 saved over a lifetime:

Lifetime Financial Saving (£) and Lifetime CO2 Saving (Kg)

Turning off lights when not needed
£806
2,923Kg

Not leaving appliances on standby
£2,296
8,323Kg

Using the right amount of water in the kettle
£560
2,030

Not heating rooms when not using them
£3,675
60,900Kg

Not heating the house when not in it
£4,533
75,110Kg

Turning the heating down by 1 degree
£5,779
25,814Kg

Using energy saving light bulbs
£381
1,380Kg

Using efficient appliances
£6,944
25,172

Turning off mobile phone charger
£426
1,543Kg

Having showers instead of baths
£1,680
6,090Kg

TOTAL
£27,080
209,285Kg

Surprisingly, it is not London residents that have the largest Carbon Footprint but those in South-East England and the London commuter belt, with people in the North-East being the most environmentally friendly. Residents of Gateshead, South Tyneside, Swindon and Gloucester all ranked the lowest in terms of their Carbon Footprint, with the people of East Hertfordshire, St Albarns, Mole Valley and Elmbridge ranking the highest.

“The UK is responsible for 1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases each year and of this, households are accountable for 75%,” commented John Barrett, Research Associate at CenSA. “This means that by making small changes to their consumption patterns, households can make a big difference to the environment and also save money.”

ASDA’s booklet also recommends how financial and environmental savings can not only be made through changes to energy consumption but also by making changes to diet, the types of products bought and ways of travelling.

A healthy diet that includes fruit, vegetables, wholegrain foods versus an average UK diet which includes alcohol, cheese, soft drinks, more meat and less vegetables will save the average British family almost £100 per year[4]. Also, using the right amount of products and avoiding waste can lead to considerable savings, as identified by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, during an interview he gave at the G8 summit in July. Up to 30% of fresh food that is purchased ends up in the bin and if this was rectified it could lead to savings of approximately £180 over the course of a year[5].

Julian Walker-Palin at ASDA said: “As my Mum said ‘if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves’ and this survey has proved her right. Although savings don’t look big in the short term, the savings of a lifetime are considerable – more than the average annual salary. As a business, we are commited to lowering prices so this campaign fits ASDA and our customers perfectly.”

- ends -

For further information, please contact Sarah Henderson / Hannah Jones at Frank PR on 0207 693 6999 or sarahhenderson@frankpr.it / hannahjones@frankpr.it

Notes to Editors:

Carbon Footprint – Regional Breakdown:

Top 10 worst offenders (CO2 Emissions):

East Hertfordshire 14.68
St Albans 14.22
Mole Valley 14.07
Elmbridge 14.04
Chiltern 13.99
South Waverly 13.99
South Buckinghamshire 13.94
Tandridge 13.84
Windsor & Maidenhead 13.79
Hart 13.79

Top 10 most environmentally friendly (CO2 Emissions):

Gateshead 10.92
South Tyneside 10.93
Swindon 10.93
Gloucester 10.93
Sandwell 10.94
Havering 10.94
Bexley 10.96
Barnsley 10.96
Chester-Le-Street 10.99
Nuneaton & Bedworth 11.01

[1] Based on the average energy consumption for a household in the UK not composition
[2] Based on a lifetime of 70 years
[3] The Environmental and Financial Benefits of Changing Behaviour, John Barrett, Centre for Sustainability Accounting (CenSA).
[4] Based on the average household spending £2800 on food and drink in 1 year, (Office of national statistics spending survey)
[5] The average person spends £600 a year on fresh food products (this includes vegetables, meat, fish, fruit and diary products).

Thursday, 28 August 2008

News from Ocado

Ocado becomes first to disclose ‘life expectancy’ online

(LONDON, August 19, 2008) – Independent online grocer, Ocado (www.ocado.com), has become the first online grocer in the world to detail the guaranteed minimum life of fresh food and drink on its website. This will display to customers, while they shop, the number of days until the “use by” date of each product.

The revolutionary move underscores Ocado’s leading position when it comes to food freshness. In a recent survey, 76% of the company’s regular customers stated that their food was fresher from Ocado than from other online supermarkets.

Ocado sees the development as an opportunity to tap into the hundreds of thousands of customers who still do not do their weekly shop online because they perceive that home-delivered groceries will not be as fresh as those they pick themselves from a supermarket shelf.
CEO Tim Steiner comments, “Ocado has always exceeded customers’ expectations on freshness but today we’ve taken a revolutionary step that sets us further apart from the rest of the industry. Ocado customers will have the ability to see product life information just as in a store, reassuring them about the freshness of the food and drink that will be delivered to their homes.
“A further benefit is that Ocado customers will find that meal planning becomes much easier. They will know, at the point of ordering, exactly what they can use at various points throughout the week.”

The initiative has involved considerable re-structuring of the Ocado supply chain and has generated a number of additional benefits. For instance, the turnaround time of fresh produce has been reduced, allowing fruit and vegetables to get from field to plate in a shorter time. For example, bananas spend less than one day with Ocado before reaching the customer and organic onions now come with seven days of guaranteed life compared with five days last month.
What’s more, Ocado now has information at its fingertips to provide customers with a new-look receipt which details when fresh food needs to be eaten.

Tim Steiner explains, “Our receipt will double up as a meal planning tool which means, without rummaging through the fridge, customers can see what needs eating on a given day. We hope that this will further support our ongoing efforts to reduce food waste which, at 0.5% of sales, is far lower than the typical industry ratios of 3-4% of sales.

“This announcement represents one of our most important innovations since opening for business in 2000 and we truly believe that it will set a new standard for online grocery shopping.”

Over the next few weeks, a limited number of Ocado customers will be able to access life information and the new-look receipt as the company makes final refinements to the new system. A full roll-out is expected within a month.

ENDS

Friday, 22 August 2008

News from Alton Towers


Alton Towers Resort to Put Riders in the Picture


To commemorate the 80th birthday of Andy Warhol, the Alton Towers Resort are giving thousands of theme park visitors their “15 minutes of fame” by featuring guests in replicas of Warhol’s creations as part of a new exhibition called The Big Smile.

The exhibition recreates Warhol’s most famous pieces using photos of visitors smiling and having fun on attractions at the Alton Towers Resort. In addition to the original images of icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O, Liza Minelli and Audrey Hepburn, a selection of more modern day images including Madonna, Kylie and Kate Moss have also been created.

The images pay tribute to the phrase “15 minutes of Fame” coined by Warhol, giving everyone the opportunity to be famous for at least 15 minutes. Furthermore, hidden within each image are a number of celebrities seen to be enjoying themselves whilst at the Resort, including Michael Owen, Ralf Little, Chris Evans, Kim Ryder, McFly, and Jonathan Ross to name but a few – see if you can spot the rest!

Morwenna Angove, Sales and Marketing Director for the Alton Towers Resort said: ‘As the UK’s Number 1 short-break destination for families, people come to Alton Towers Resort for the fun, thrills and the escape from everyday life that it provides, which is why the campaign is entitled ‘The Big Smile’. In creating these images, we’ve captured the essence of the Resort, whilst giving the public their 15 minutes of fame.’
The photographic mosaics can be viewed by visiting http://bigsmile.altontowers.com/ and any guest who has visited the theme park between the 1st July 2008 and 6th August 2008 may have been featured and could be one of the lucky riders to be catapulted to fame.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

News from Hovis


12th August 2008

A BRITISH ICON MAKES ITS COMEBACK AT HARRODS THIS SEPTEMBER


The iconic Hovis Little Brown loaf, first introduced in 1886, is making a comeback, in response to demand for traditional British bakery bread that’s tasty and naturally healthy.

The Hovis Little Brown Loaf is a delicious, unsliced, wholemeal loaf, which has the Hovis logo embossed on both sides. Available exclusively from Harrods’ in-store bakery from 1st September, the loaf is priced at £1.05, and will be sold nationwide throughout supermarkets later in the month.

Harrods of Knightsbridge will also be exclusively stocking 122 limited edition ‘Bake Your Own Hovis Little Brown Loaf’ kits in-store. Priced at £24.95, the premium kits will contain a Hovis baking tin and Hovis wholemeal flour, so you can bake your own delicious Little Brown Loaf at home. All profits from the sale of the kits will go directly to Cancer Research UK.

-ends-

For more information, please contact:

Frank PR, 020 7693 6999

hovis@frankpr.it

News from Ladbrokesbingo.com



Giant bingo balls run amok in European Capital of Culture


Ladbrokesbingo.com takes to the streets of Liverpool to film a new TV ad campaign


The people of Liverpool are in for a shock this week as Ladbrokesbingo.com, one of the UK’s leading online bingo sites, has taken over this city to record a fun and fast-paced television ad campaign that celebrates the nation’s love of bingo. On location in the European Capital of Culture’s red terraced streets and taking in some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the exhilarating shoot features a number of 13-foot giant spheres rolling around the city in an enormous invasion of bingo balls.


The advert, devised by advertising agency M&C Saatchi and produced by cutting-edge production company Serious Pictures for Ladbrokesbingo.com, will continue to close off busy areas of Liverpool until Thursday. Directed by Ben Quinn and with a total campaign budget of over three million pounds, the action-packed spectacle will feature over 180 extras including two ‘fat ladies’, two ‘little ducks’ and a real-life ‘legs eleven’. Promising to represent the fun that can be had playing the nation’s favourite game, the advert will feature the giant multi-coloured bingo balls hurtling past a selection of Liverpool’s finest features including The Liver Building, The Steble Fountain, St George’s Hall and Museum Steps, as well as terraced streets of Badminton Avenue and the quaint Lark Lane when it airs in September.


Charlie Goodenough, Acquisition Marketing Manager at Ladbrokesbingo.com says, “This is a really exciting project for Ladbrokes Bingo and we are delighted to be bringing bingo on such a big scale to the streets of Liverpool. We wanted to represent the fun, exciting nature of the game and we’re sure the giant bingo balls will make an impact on both Merseyside and across the country.” The advert will air from mid to late September and customers should visit Ladbrokesbingo.com to experience the thrill of the game and for more information.





News from Cancer Research UK



SINGER SANDI THOM AGES 30 YEARS TO WARN YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT SUNBEDS

Singer/songwriter Sandi Thom, aged 27, has teamed up with Cancer Research UK to warn youngsters about the dangers of using sunbeds. The charity has today published shocking images of how Sandi could look in thirty years time through overexposure to UV rays, which in some sunbeds can be 10-15 times higher than those of the midday sun.

The images, created using age-modification technology, show Sandi as she could look at 57 with severe skin damage, such as could be caused by overexposure to UV from sunbed use or regular sunbathing. The image shows Sandi with deep-set wrinkles, sagging skin, drooping eyelids, large bags around her eye area and skin discolouration, which are associated with the skin losing its suppleness and elasticity.

In contrast, another image shows how Sandi might look at 57 with natural age progression – depicting a natural more fresh-faced look with 70 per cent fewer wrinkles and far less sagging skin.

Sandi used to be a regular sunbed user and would visit her local tanning salon up to three times a week while at university in Liverpool. Using a recent picture of Sandi, the images were created taking into account Sandi’s lifestyle, images of her parents, and her typical UV exposure.

August is a key time for sunbed use in the UK as people returning from their holidays attempt to keep their summer glow. Cancer Research UK commissioned the age modification images of Sandi as part of its SunSmart campaign, which this year is encouraging young people to think twice before they next get on a sunbed.

Sunbeds not only damage people’s appearance, they also significantly increase the risk of skin cancer. Using a sunbed before the age of 35 increases the risk of skin cancer by up to 75 per cent.

Sandi Thom said, “I’m in a state of shock and the thought of looking like this at 57 is terrifying. Having seen these images I can honestly say I am never going to use a sunbed again.

“You can so easily get brown from a bottle these days, there is just no point in ruining your looks and risking skin cancer by using sunbeds. I hope the horrible image of me will make other young people think twice before they next use a sunbed.”

Caroline Cerny, SunSmart campaign manager at Cancer Research UK added, “We want to provide young people with a shocking visual representation of how sunbeds and over exposure to the sun can dramatically affect the way you look further down the line.

“While young people may be using sunbeds as they think they make them look good now, in the long term they are doing serious damage to their looks.”

For more information on SunSmart please visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/sunsmart


Tuesday, 19 August 2008

News from Honey Monster Foods


HONEY MONSTER RECORDS CHARITY SINGLE WITH SAMANDA

The Honey Monster has shown that his taste for honey is not just limited to his breakfast cereal, as he has teamed up with the sweet voices of Big Brother 8 twins Sam and Amanda Marchant to record a charity single called ‘Honey Love’.

‘Honey Love’ will be available to download exclusively on iTunes from w/c 18th August and all the proceeds from the single will go to The Variety Club Children’s Charity.

The single is a reworked version of the Annette Funicello track ‘Puppy Love’, which was made famous by Donny Osmond in 1972. The song is about the Twins’ love of the Honey Monster, which is perfectly understandable given his fun and caring nature.

The Honey Monster and Samanda had a ball making the single, with HM even showing off his creative side and helping produce the track. All the antics from the recording studio can be seen in the ‘making-of’ video which can be seen on http://www.honeymonster.co.uk/ from 18th August.

Since leaving the Big Brother house, Sam and Amanda have been keeping busy with various projects including having a hit single ‘Barbie Girl’. The girls commented, “We think the work that The Variety Club does is brill and we’ve always loved the Honey Monster – meeting him at the recording was absolutely fab, he’s really huggable and recording a song with him was great fun”

Honey Monster has also been kept busy with his work this year for The Variety Club – including designing his own charity t-shirt. He said, “I just love to feed the fun – and working with the twins on this single has certainly been FUN!”

Norman Kaphan, Chief Barker of The Variety Club said, “The Honey Monster has been a friend to The Variety Club for a while; he’s been great to work with and the kids absolutely love him, so we’re really excited about the single and can’t wait for everyone to hear it!”

News From Kit Kat Senses


KIT KAT® SENSES™ reveal exclusive celebrity designed charity t-shirts

Style icons Girls Aloud, renowned for their impeccable dress sense and stylish trend setting, have swapped music for fashion – creating five exclusive t-shirt designs for KIT KAT® SENSES™, in support of Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK*.

The five girls created these great designs during their break time on their recent ‘Tangled Up’ tour. Being worked on during their own me-time means that the designs highlight each of their personalities and give a real insight into what really matters to them as individuals – making these unique t-shirts a must have for Autumn 08.

There are 165 of the girls’ t-shirts from KIT KAT® SENSES™ to be won every day for six weeks from 18th August. To be in with a chance to win, simply text the last four digits of the barcode found on KIT KAT® SENSES™ wrappers, plus SENSES, to 66226, or enter online at http://www.kitkat-senses.co.uk/.

Sarah Harding’s design captures her rocky style perfectly. Inspired by her love of the UK, Sarah says, ‘I think we should be proud of our country and our flag which is why I wanted the Union Jack on it. This is really important to me and I love being in the thick of things so it made sense to put myself bang smack in the middle!’

Nicola’s design incorporates the iconic words of fellow Liverpudlians, the Beatles. Nicola explains, ‘‘Let It Be’ is a song I hold dear to my heart as it speaks of hope and desire. I wanted my t-Shirt to encourage people to dream of a perfect world filled with happiness, love and friendship, and to never forget their goals.’

LA based Nadine is ultra glam and her t-shirt is no exception; describing the inspiration behind the clean simple design, Nadine said, ‘I love the glamorous style of the old silver screen era, the 30’s and art deco period. The era symbolised progress and optimism which I wanted to reflect in my t-Shirt.’

Kimberley’s t-shirt is designed to combine Britain’s traditional heritage with the multi-cultural mix of the country today. Kimberley said, ‘I’m proud to be living in a country that can accept different cultures, colours and creeds with open arms and wanted my t-shirt to reflect the diverse attitude of modern Britain.’

Cheryl’s design highlights her love for her hometown - Newcastle. Using a magpie to communicate the fun cheeky side of her fellow Geordies, Cheryl said, ‘I wanted my t-Shirt to give people an insight into what it’s like to be a Geordie and highlight that Newcastle is a really special place to me – after all it’s the Jewel of the North East!’

Monday, 18 August 2008

News from Budweiser


BUDWEISER SPRINTS TOWARDS A WORLD RECORD
Budweiser Creates the World’s Longest Outdoor Bar on Banks of River Thames

LONDON (August 14, 2008) – Budweiser, official international beer sponsor of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, today unveils a world record breaking addition to London’s Southbank.

In recognition of the dedication shown by the British team out in Beijing, Budweiser has built a 100-metre long bar for adults of a legal drinking age to come and enjoy a beer in the run up to the 100m Olympic Games final. The bar, a record breaking 63 metres longer than its nearest rival, has been submitted to the Guinness Book of Records for verification as the world’s longest outdoor bar and an official adjudicator was present at the unveiling.

Mark Lewis Francis MBE, who won gold in the 4x100m sprint relay in Athens four years ago, would have been leading the British chase for medals in the Olympic Games in Beijing had it not been for injury. He is, however, back in London and is thrilled to be part of Budweiser’s record breaking attempt.

“I’m working with Budweiser to celebrate our country’s Olympic spirit and cheer on our athletes, who are some of the most dedicated and talented in the world. The members of Team GB have devoted their lives to training and preparation, and they are ready to take on the best talent the Olympic Games has to offer.”

Vicki Kipling, Budweiser’s UK marketing director said: “We are toasting our athletes’ Olympic Games performances in a way that only Budweiser can – by inviting adults to join us today at this world record-breaking bar to raise a cold Bud to the team’s dedication and say cheers to their successes.”