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Hipster ads put CBA on the nose

Hipster ads put CBA on the nose

As if CBA boss Ian Narev didn't have enough on his plate, what with Fairfax Media's series of stories about allegedly dodgy behaviour by financial planners sparking a Senate inquiry last week. Now the bank's fondness for hipsters has earned it the ire of consumers, who resent a patronising internet ad campaign lumping young people into four categories: the erratic (beard), the habitual (cool glasses), methodical (fashionable) and the inventive (with easel).

Facebook reaction was swift and deadly. "I don't think the 'delete message' can be pressed fast enough," said one. "I just hate hipsters," said another. And, harshest of all: "Don't know what's more annoying, this or the Tom Waterhouse ads."

That's unfair to both men, who can easily be told apart. One of them runs a company that tries to separate people from their money, and the other is a bookie.

Bulldog approach

Bulldog clips, shotguns and the harsh Alaskan wilderness. The stoush over Buccaneer Energy has it all, meaning a shareholder meeting set for next Tuesday is shaping as a doozy.

Sailing in from Singapore are two investors, Bernard Cheng and Cheng Chih Kwong, who hold about 8.7 per cent of the company. They want to tip out the board, replacing Alan Broome, Curtis Benson, Frank Culberson and Dean Gallegos with their nominees, Nick Davies, Shaun Scott and Clint Adams.

The Chengs, who are big fans of Buccaneer's Alaskan assets, reckon their earlier effort to call a meeting was foiled when the company rejected their paperwork because it was fastened with a bulldog clip, rather than stapled.

They also accuse the incumbent board of taking a "shotgun" approach by effectively putting the whole company up for sale.

The board hit back on Monday, telling shareholders the Chengs "are attempting to take control of the company without proceeding with a formal takeover offer".

They've also been rude enough to mention the dismal share price performance of Dart Energy, where two of the three proposed directors also serve.

Forever shopping

If you ask most fashion retailers, the average Australian shopping mall is pretty much a blasted wasteland. The industry has a knack of finding ever cheaper places to make clothes but not even that can turn the sector's fortunes around.

But there are bright spots for some. Witness Forever New, which specialises in selling on-trend frocks to teenage girls. Company accounts filed with ASIC show 2011-12 was a bumper year for the chain, run by Dipendra and Amanda Goenka and backed by British retail magnate Tom Singh.

Revenue surged from about $139 million to more than $198 million, driving profit after tax from $2.8 million to $6.2 million.

For a good cause

This year's CEO Sleepout on Thursday night raised more than $5 million for do-gooders the St Vincent de Paul Society to fight homelessness. Top fund-raiser was the head of Best and Less, Holly Kramer, who raised $148,000, while ABN Group MD Dale Alcock drew $129,000 and the CBA's head of retail banking services, Matt Comyn, was third with $113,000.

Goal for Palmer

Turns out Clive Palmer still has some association with soccer, despite the sad end of his Gold Coast United club. Two former players are running as candidates for his Palmer United Party: defender Kristian Rees and goalie Scott "Giggles" Higgins.

Got a tip?

bbutler@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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