Planet Business: Fairy doors, rooftop running tracks and bitcoin apartments

The latest in tech workplace fashion and an, ahem, interesting list of Bell Pottinger clients

London’s highest running track. No pushing. Photograph: Victoria Jones / PA.

London’s highest running track. No pushing. Photograph: Victoria Jones / PA.

 

Image of the week: Running high

People against high-rise construction in Irish cities have a new evil to cite following this week’s publicity for London’s highest running track. Someone thought fit to install one atop a 16-storey building at a site near the “Silicon Roundabout” tech cluster so that runners, freed from their incubator hotspots, can get a good view of the city but not do anything crazy like stop to enjoy it. The 150m loop has the gall to be five floors’ higher than a planned track at Google’s new headquarters in London, however levels of smugness on both tracks are likely to be equally stratospheric.

In numbers: Bricks, fairies and fascists

5

Percentage fall in first-half revenues at Lego, the world’s second-largest toymaker, which has said it will cut 1,400 jobs. “The car has run a bit off the road and we are a bit stuck in the ditch,” said chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp.

Lego Group chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp. ‘A bit stuck in the ditch.’ Photograph: Lego/PA
Lego Group chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp. ‘A bit stuck in the ditch.’ Photograph: Lego/PA

50

Percentage increase in sales for the Irish Fairy Door company, which saw its product featured in Kourtney Kardashian’s Snapchat story twice in one day late last year. It has now sold 500,000 fairy doors worldwide.

$1.5 million

Sum raised on Kickstarter by the Chicago-based makers of a board game called Secret Hitler, in which players on a large team of “liberals” try to identify a traitor in their midst from a smaller pool of “fascists”.

The lexicon: The Dreamers

No more “American Dream” for some 800,000 “Dreamers” – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme. Daca, this week rescinded by US president Donald Trump, was introduced by Barack Obama in 2012 and deferred deportation orders for people who arrived in the US as children for two years, at which point they could apply to stay longer. (The name Dreamers stems from old proposed legislation called the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act that was never actually passed.) This week the former president condemned the Trump reversal, saying a “shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people”. Now it seems “Dreamers” who have been encouraged “out of the shadows” will be punished for it.

Getting to know: Doug Barrowman

Doug Barrowman is the Scottish businessman boyfriend of the more famous Scottish businesswoman and Conservative peer Michelle Mone, who made her fortune with the lingerie brand Ultimo. Barrowman was previously the director of an offshore payroll company called Aston Management Limited (AML), which appears to have facilitated a little too much tax efficiency in the past for the liking of UK tax authorities, now pursuing tax payments from up to 1,500 AML contractors. But it’s onwards and upwards for Barrowman, who has been recently holidaying with Mone on his £20 million superyacht Turquoise, and when they’re not doing that, they’re busy selling luxury and very beige apartments in Dubai in exchange for cryptocurrency bitcoin.

The list: Bell Pottinger clients

Disgraced British public relations firm Bell Pottinger has been thrown out of its own trade body after its work was said to have stirred up racial tensions in South Africa on behalf of the wealthy Gupta family. Which other charmers has Bell Pottinger counted as clients?

1. Oscar Pistorius: The firm represented him after he was charged with murder.

2. Asma al-Assad: The wife of Syrian president Bashir al-Assad was another lucrative addition to the client roster.

3. BAE Systems and Imperial Brands: Look, someone has to represent the interests of Big Tobacco and arms manufacturers.

4. FW de Klerk: Bell Pottinger looked after his needs when he ran against Nelson Mandela for the South African presidency.

5. Alexander Lukashenko: The Belarusian president has been in power since 1994. Because he’s a dictator.

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