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News Round UP: Asda, Proctor and Gamble, ITV, HMV,

A round up of some of the media, marketing and technology stories being reported across the UK today.

Inflation hit families in run-up to Christmas says Asda

Asda's latest Income Tracker shows that high inflation has hit families in the run-up to Christmas, reports the Yorkshire Post. The supermarket giant said the average British family had £6 a week less to spend in November compared with a year ago. This marks the eleventh month of falling household spending power, with discretionary income down 3.4% on November 2009. Asda’s report shows the average family had £174 per week to spend in November, down from £180 this time last year. Asda said the continued decline in family spending power in 2010 was due to the price of essential goods and services rising faster than net income growth.

ITV's CRR removal hopes 'dashed'

ITV's hopes of earning an end to the contract rights renewal (CRR) mechanism governing advertising airtime on ITV1 have been dashed by the government, reports the Financial Times. Coalition ministers are understood to have informed ITV that competition law leaves them with little room to manoeuvre on the CRR. New figures indicate that ITV's spot advertising revenue for the whole of 2010 has increased by around 15.5%, from £1.34bn to £1.55bn, thanks to ratings hits such as The X Factor. The CRR stipulates the amount ITV can charge advertisers on ITV1. Analysts claim that ditching the mechanism would boost ITV's revenues by up to 10%.

Proctor and Gamble lead top 10 biggest spending advertisers of 2010

The Telegraph has revealed the biggest advertising spenders of 2010, according to statistics from the Nielsen Group. Proctor and Gamble lead the list, spending £195m in the last year, up from a £158m outlay in 2009. Second place went to BSkyB, who ramped up ad spend to £168m, while Unilever spent £135m on ads for consumer brands like Persil. Supermarket giant Tesco beat rival Asda in the list, spending £15m more on advertising in 2010. The biggest increase in spend went to BT, who increased outlay by £27m to £108m. The Central Office of Information saw the biggest cut, spending less than half of their 2009 budget.

HMV hires ITV's Wolffe as new finance director

The Guardian is reporting that HMV chief executive Simon Fox has hired David Wolffe, the finance director of ITV Studios. Wolffe was named as HMV's new finance director this morning, with the group feeling the strain as digital download services and supermarkets take their bite of music and DVD sales. HMV shares plunged by a quarter earlier this month as the group reported a 16% fall in sales. Wolffe leaves ITV after two years at the broadcaster. He has having previously worked at AOL and BBC Worldwide.

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