Smalls diversion in retail wedgie

Smalls diversion in retail wedgie

Is Kmart knicker-ing Pacific Brands' ideas? Sharp eyes have cottoned on to a certain similarity between new TV ads spruiking Kmart's no-name undies and the spots produced to plug PacBrands' Bonds line.

Both sets of ads feature good-looking girls and guys prancing about in not very much.

The two companies have been jockeying for position over grundies since 2011, when Kmart boss Guy Russo ditched Bonds in favour of home-brand smalls.

But it doesn't look like Pacific Brands boss John Pollaers is ready to resort to elastic-snapping yet - let alone the atomic wedgie.

While the similarity between the campaigns has apparently been raised with PacBrands, executives there don't seem up for a boxer-ing match. Speaking over a trunk(s) line, a PacBrands insider snarked: "Have Kmart been advertising?"

And a Kmart spokeswoman said she wasn't aware of any grief from PacBrands. Perhaps it's just a storm in a D cup.

Thinking profit

Hard times at Gerard Henderson's talking shop the Sydney Institute, where profit dived more than $100,000 to just $7301 in 2012. However, the institute's unnamed "key management personnel" have fared rather better, with their total remuneration climbing from $387,566 to $405,608.

In the five years since the start of 2008, the mystery executives have trousered remuneration totalling more than $1.9 million, according to the accounts.

The institute's latest set of books became available on Thursday after executive director Henderson, who is also a Fairfax Media columnist, and his wife, deputy director Anne, filed the document on Wednesday (more than a month late).

The institute tried to file last week but ASIC sent the form back for more information.

CBD has been pursuing the institute's accounts for some time - a quest that this week earned Henderson's displeasure.

"As far as I'm concerned, this correspondence is concluded," the man famous for his letter-writing stamina said (CBD, Tuesday).

That might be why on Thursday night he was yet to reply to queries that took in the identity of those key management personnel - and in particular whether he and his wife are among them.

CBD will bring you Henderson's response if and when it arrives.

In the meantime, don't fret too much for the institute's future: the accounts show that as of December 31 it had more than $865,000 in cash and another $527,500 sitting in a term deposit.

Not U2?

Whatever you do, don't point out the apparent inconsistency between U2 frontman Bono's big talk on ending poverty and his band's tax-dodging business practices, such as running much of its business through the Netherlands (CBD, Thursday).

CBD's efforts enraged one "martyflip", who leapt to defend the mid-paced, middle-aged, middle-of-the-road band.

"How stupid are you??" he or she asked in an email to CBD, before going on to rant about how the Irish have taken their money out of the banks in response to the ongoing European financial crisis.

"U2 is a business which employs hundreds of people not four guys in [a] Kombi van," smarty Marty said.

Dutch treat

By contrast, in proof that headbanging does not after all cause brain damage, AC/DC fans are both polite and articulate.

Trent Nation points out that, although AC/DC's publishing company, Leidseplein Presse, is also based in the Netherlands, guitarist Angus Young has been married to a Dutch woman since 1980.

"I'd suggest that it was as much of an administration necessity that it's based in the Netherlands as any other reason, especially as AC/DC were going through a period of being almost entirely self-managed at the time," Nation said.

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