News in Brief

News in Brief

Ball reckons her successor will give Radio One rival Sara Cox a run for her money.

Koopid, the interactive TV dating service, has transmitted more than 3.6 million messages from over 45,000 registered users in its first year of operation, BSkyB said this week. The service allows Sky digital viewers to chat and flirt with others using their TV and remote controls whilst watching TV at the same time.

Ford has launched a mobile marketing push to promote the launch of its new Sportka model. The campaign, created by Flytxt and Wunderman, targets young male drivers and data captured will be used to develop a dialogue with the target audience via direct marketing, SMS and email. The campaign is designed to appeal to the 'lad's mag' audience and to push the idea that Sportka is not a girl's car.

Eve is to give away a 2004 "Change Your Life" calendar with all its UK issues next month, in association with Bollinger champagne. It is Bollinger's first sponsorship deal with a women's glossy and features photography, complete with advice to women. Jo Morrell, publishing director of Eve, said: "Eve and Bollinger are a perfect fit, with both brands targeting 30-something women with quality tastes and a real joie de vivre."

Sky News has been fined £50,000 by the Independent Television Commission over a report from a Royal Navy submarine during the Gulf War. The regulator said that the story, by reporter James Furlong, breached accuracy rules. Forlong, 44, an award-winning reporter who had worked at Sky News for 10 years, lost his job and committed suicide in October.

OMD launched a six-sheet lenticular campaign for Davidoff fragrance Echo this week. The agency created a television launch campaign for the fragrance earlier this year, and expanded the TV ad onto posters to tap into the shopping frenzy during the Christmas period.

Advertising professionals may receive far more corporate hospitality invitations than most other industries - but they actually turn down more meal and drinks dates than anyone else, according to new research published this week. A National Corporate Hospitality Survey, sponsored by leading caterer Sodexho Prestige, demolishes the lunching-and-schmoozing image associated with advertising by revealing that ad people accept only a third of the invites that come their way.

Indigestion remedy, Rennie, will be promoting its Soft Chews on ITV over the Christmas and the New Year as part of a £2m two-week advertising blitz which began yesterday (December 16). The sponsorship spots, by creative agency JWT, and negotiated by SponsorCom, will show the sweets as a necessary accompaniment to festive feasting with the slogan: "Christmas Never Tasted So Good."

The gourmet guzzlers' bible, the 2004 Square Meal Guide, will be out next week - boasting 584 pages. Targeting the ABCl good-lifers in London and the south-east, its latest ABC figure of 103,697 is a record for the title. The guide's publisher, Monomax, is bullish about its prospects, following evidence of a new surge in client entertaining.

Xfm DJ Zoë Ball is moving from her afternoon drivetime show in the new year to spend more time with her son.

Instead, she will present a new Friday night show at the station. Her drivetime slot will be taken over from January 5 by Lauren Laverne. Ball reckons her successor will give Radio One rival Sara Cox a run for her money.

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