Sorry folks, but this week suddenly got busy. I’ve got a rather intense exam to prepare for on Friday, plus some mid-week assignments, and I have other stuff on my plate. Blogging’s going to have to take a back seat until I get this lot cleared.

In the meantime, feel free to chat among yourselves. Thanks for your patience.


Accounting Software

Do any of my readers run a small business? Can anyone recommend an accounting software which either allows you to do your tax returns and financial reporting yourself, or keeps track of everything such that you can hand it to an accountant?


Open Thread

I’ve had a visitor this weekend so I’ve not found anything worth writing about. Also, I have my second semester final exams next week and I need to spend today revising derivatives.

So have a chat among yourselves.


Merry Christmas

I’ve got some stuff to do today, and I expect most of my readers are doing festive stuff rather than reading blogs, so I’m going to take a short break. I’ll be back in a few days, in the meantime have a very Merry Christmas.


Some Light Begging

As most of you know, I’m now a full-time student with no income save for the few dollars per month the blog ads bring in (which covers hosting and anti-spam). Now I’m not in danger of starvation, but it would be nice if I could get a few quid coming in, especially now I’ve launched the podcast.

To that end I’ve set up a Patreon page where wealthy, generous people can pledge a portion of their hard earned cash to ease my burden when writing about social issues, politics, management, and, erm, polyamory and carrier bags. There’s no obligation of course but if anyone who enjoys my output on a regular basis wishes to donate, it would be much appreciated. And if Laurie Penny can get nearly £$4k per month…


Rogue Adverts

I’ve had a couple of messages regarding rogue adverts which pop up and take over the browser. If this happens, drop me a line with the URL of the advert in and I’ll get them blocked.

Sorry about that.


Open Thread

I’m busy for the next few days – exams, seminars, and company visits – so I’ll not post anything today, and maybe not Friday or Saturday either. So it’s another open thread I’m afraid.

The good news is I’m working on another podcast and am sorting the hosting out; the first one can be found here for those of you who had trouble before:

I’m also on iTunes, Apple having deemed I’m not a Nazi, at least for now.

In the meantime, talk nicely amongst yourselves.


TV Advertising

Does anyone know anything about how TV advertising works in the UK? I’m doing a case study for my MBA and need to know a bit about how it’s structured.

I assume there is an intermediary, some sort of advertising agency, between (say) Coca-Cola and (say) ITV. So Coca-Cola produce an advert and rather than take it directly to ITV, they go through the intermediary. So, does anyone know:

1. Who the main intermediaries are in the UK?

2. What their role is? Do they get a list of slots from ITV, etc. with a price alongside each one, and fill them accordingly with ads their clients have given them?

Or have I got this wrong somehow? I’m looking for the basic structure of the business here, not whether it’s outdated, relevant in today’s world, etc. Any help would be much appreciated.



About once a week I get an email from some company, usually to do with energy, telling me about some development or other which might interest me (I seem to be on some list as an energy blogger). Normally I delete them but I’d just been given an assignment as part of my studies so decided I’d reply to one I got two weeks ago. First I rang the person who’d sent it to express my interest, left a message, and they emailed me back. Then I sent this email:

Many thanks for getting in touch. I am currently an MBA student Geneva, and I wonder if I may talk to one of your spokespeople about the change. In particular, I’d like to ask:

1) Why XXX was split off from YYY and sold?

2) What opportunities will arise from XXX being a stand-alone company? For example, will they have easier access to capital for new products or research projects?

3) What, if anything, will change in terms of management style of the company? For example, will regional offices be able to act more independently within a more streamlined approval process?

My time zone is GMT+2. I’m generally available weekdays between 9am and 4pm (my time), or after 10:30pm. Are any of your spokespeople based in Europe?

I never heard back from the person I’d spoken to. So why do you reckon that is? They actually read my blog and decided they’d better stay well clear? They don’t want to waste their time with students? Or my questions were stupid of awkward?

Amusingly, I also got this email the other day from someone who definitely doesn’t read my blog very closely:

My name is Sonya, and I’m the founder of Her Aspiration. I wanted to reach out to you after coming across this page of yours: http://www.desertsun.co.uk/blog/4074/

We recently put together a piece Donald Trump’s quotes about women… an annoying subject for all of us. We think with the elections coming up, the more people we educate about his attitude towards women, the better. 

Here it is: https://www.heraspiration.com/trump-quotes-about-women/

Would you consider adding a link to it in the page of yours I mentioned above? It’d really make my day 🙂

Let me know what you think!

Well, I’ve posted it, although not in the place requested. Do you think I made her day? Answers in the comments, please.