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Paper Monitor

11:16 UK time, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

There have been strains before: the Battle of Bunker Hill, the alleged snubbing of Gordon Brown by Barack Obama in the US last year, the unleashing on an unsuspecting British public of Hanson.

Yet the fabled Special Relationship that binds the UK and US has always survived... until now, at least.

"Plastic cheese company" Kraft's takeover of plucky British confectioner Cadbury is causing all sorts of unrest in the pages of the British press.

The Daily Express - the "World's greatest newspaper" - has found a fire in its belly unknown since the days of the Diana inquest. It has launched a "crusade" to stop the "Yanks swallow[ing] another great British brand".

Inside, the Express has unleashed its John Bull character - complete with Union Flag waistcoat, bow tie and top hat - who is pictured holding a burning Toblerone (a Kraft brand for those who aren't up to speed with global brand acquisitions).

He's even sporting a rosette which proclaims "Hey Hershey your chocs are rubbish" which seems to miss the point on two counts - Kraft is nothing to do with Hershey, and Cadbury actually solicited a takeover bid from Hershey before its shareholders succumbed to the Kraft offer.

"The choccy horror story" is the headline - although shouldn't it be "show" rather than "story"?

Over at the Mirror, business editor Clinton Manning is caught between po-faced analysis and the irresistible punning opportunities of all those Cadbury brands.

Manning notes the relationship between Kraft and Cadbury looks "flakey" and that Kraft has mortgaged Cadbury to the hilt "by pledging just a wispa under £12bn".

The Sun, as ever, distils it all into a perfectly pithy headline: "The Bournville Ultimatum".


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