Quotes of the week - Navyblue, Sir Brian Souter, Topman, Johann Hari

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By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

September 16, 2011 | 5 min read

A stalwart Scottish design agency closes, the boss of Stagecoach picks a fight with Google, Topman's t-shirts spark a Twitter backlash and Independent journalist Johann Hari apologises for plagiarism.

"Despite continued support from our bankers to address current economic and trading pressures, our recent ‘internal’ problems have proved to be too difficult to overcome. Although we have made significant personal commitments and investment recently, on the advice of our accountants, we have regretfully decided that we must put our business into voluntary liquidation.”

Nayblue founder Geoff Nicol confirms that the Edinburgh and London design agency is closing its doors after 17 years in business. The announcement came less than a fortnight after managing director Douglas Alexander made a surprise exit from the business.

“Navyblue has been one of Scotland's great success stories in the design sector. They had developed an enviable creative track record, lead the way in their ambitions to grow their business beyond Scotland and were worthy competitors. Another indication of how difficult trading conditions are for those in the marketing services community.”

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The Design Business Association's regional head of development for Scotland, Simon Farrell, laments the closure of one of the country's most noted design outfits.

"If this was a pre-pack we would have done it a long time ago and we would have had a nice set of offices to move into today. In the last 12 months, directors have personally invested in the company, in hard cash and various guarantees against other creditors. We really tried to stick in and protect the staff all the way through to a point it just really wasn't sustainable. It is with great regret we had to do it."

Navyblue director Bernie Shaw Binns denies that the agency's closure is part of a controversial pre-pack deal which would allow the firm to begin again without creditor liability.

"We can confirm that Talent Nation plc is now in liquidation and the liquidator can proceed to wind up the company and act as necessary in the interests of the taxpayer and those dealing with the company.”

Scottish Enterprise succeeds in its motion to liquidate TalentNation, a website founded by former editor of The Scottish Sun Steve Sampson. Scottish Enterprise invested £1 million in the sporting social network, over half of which was placed into Sampson’s own personal bank account.

"It's not Google's place to decide which sites we can see and those we can't. It amounts to search engine censorship and it does not afford what Google says it is striving to create — 'a good user experience.'"

Media adviser Gordon Beattie slams Google after his client, Stagecoach boss Sir Brian Souter, found his personal website had been 'erased' from search rankings.

“Justice has been done and I am satisfied with the outcome.”

Souter drops his Google crusade after the search giant restores briansouter.com to page one of the rankings.

"We have received some negative feedback regarding two of our printed T-shirts. Whilst we would like to stress that these T-shirts were meant to be light-hearted and carried no serious meaning we have made the decision to remove these from store and online as soon as possible. We would like to apologise to those who may have been offended by these designs.”

Clothes retailer Topman pulls two t-shirts from its stores after Twitter users branded their slogans - which included 'Nice new girlfriend - what breed is she? - sexist and offensive.

"I would like to apologise again to my readers, my colleagues and the people hurt by my actions. I know that some of you have lost faith in my work. I will do everything I can now to regain it. I hope, after a period of retraining, you will give me the chance."

Shamed Independent journalist Johann Hari, who was found to have plagiarised others' writing and maliciously edited Wikipedia pages under a pseudonym, issues 'a personal apology'.

"I'm fed up wading through turgid ‘letters of application’ and monstrous CVs outlining an early career in retail handling and a flirtation with the upper slopes of the Andes ... That’s why in my latest recruitment ad potential recruits have to respond via Twitter. They’ve got 140 characters to tell me what they can do and why I should consider them."

Disgruntled newspaper editor Alan Geere tells wannabe journalists to use Twitter to tell him why they deserve a job instead of boring him with their CVs.

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