Lord Tim Bell -- saddled for over two decades with the soubriquet "Margaret Thatcher's favourite PR man" -- on Monday announced the rebranding of Chime Communications' non-PR and research activities as Heresy Group.

Bell believes the branding will help the newly integrated division stand out from the crowd. "Its basic positioning philosophy is that, rather than helping people to sell, we help customers to buy and that is regarded as a heresy," he explained.

He did not, however, attempt to square this with George Bernard Shaw's sardonic aphorism: "How can what an Englishman believes be heresy? It is a contradiction in terms."

The announcement coincided with Chime's Q4 trading update. "The third quarter was very difficult," Bell said. "We had a lot of clients who cut a small amount out of their budgets because of the hot summer -- that added up to quite a lot."

Fourth quarter performance had been much better, although it is too early to predict a major upswing in the UK advertising market. "The going down has stopped but the going up will be slow," Bell predicted.

Chime said that cost-cutting measures continue with staff numbers trimmed by ten to 640.

Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff