News in brief

Many big name companies are falling on their faces when they try to market products and services on the telephone or the Internet, according to a management briefing. Many companies are failing in their marketing because they do not get the basics right. Transparent Marketing is available from Policy Publications on 01234 357 231.

A survey conducted for Reuters Business concludes that 74 percent of utility executives fear that competition will increase over the next five years as a result of EMU and European Commission energy liberalisation. Impact of EMU on Utilities costs £495 from Reuters Business Insight on 0171 675 0990.

Tempest Consultants, management consultants to the securities industry has published the key findings and the eight awards from the 1999 Reuters Survey of UK Larger Companies. The survey is in its fifth year. Further details are available from Stephen Parker at Tempest on 0171 638 8789.

Executive pay increased by 6.9 percent in the year to January 1999, a slight dip on the previous years 7.2 percent rise. It is still the second highest increase this decade though. The main constraint on executive pay growth was the drop in the value of management bonuses.

The demise of existing all-employee share schemes looks increasingly likely, according to HR consultants William M Mercer. A final decision on the subject will be taken by the Government in autumn 1999.

The Centre for Strategic Business Studies warns that businesses would do well to take pre-emptive action during the last six months of 1999. This action will ward off many Year 2000 problems before the millennium occurs.

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