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Media Brief

Torin Douglas Torin Douglas | 10:24 UK time, Thursday, 26 August 2010

I'm the BBC's media correspondent and this is my brief selection of what's going on.

Tobacco firms have denied claims in a report published in the journal Tobacco Control that they are using websites such as YouTube to get around a ban on advertising cigarettes. Sky News reports a study in New Zealand found a number of pro-tobacco videos "consistent with indirect marketing activity by tobacco companies or their proxies". The BBC's Jonathan Fildes reports several tobacco firms signed up to a voluntary agreement to restrict direct advertising on websites in 2002.

Richard Desmond, the new owner of Channel 5, is in talks with Endemol to buy the rights to Big Brother, according to Media Guardian. But it says no announcement is imminent. This week's final drew 4m viewers, well up on last year's.

Wolf Mankowitz, who wrote the screenplay for a James Bond film, was himself suspected of being a spy, according to new papers released at the National Archives in Kew. The BBC and Financial Times report [subscription required].

The BBC's newspaper review looks at speculation in the papers over the mystery of the murder of MI6 employee Gareth Williams, whose body was found at his flat in London.

Links in full

Tobacco Control | YouTube and the internet policy vacuum on Web 2.0
Lulu Sinclair | Sky News | Tobacco Firms Deny YouTube Adverts Link
Jonathan Fildes | BBC | Tobacco firms' use of YouTube probed
James Robinson | Guardian | Richard Desmond in talks to buy Big Brother for Channel 5
James Boxell | Financial Times | On Her Majesty's Secret Service watch list
Kayte Rath | BBC | MI5 suspected Bond screenwriter was communist agent
BBC | Newspaper review

• Read my updates on Twitter

• Read my archive of media stories on Delicious

• Read Wednesday's Media Brief

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