MUCH has been made of ITV HD’s impeccably timed blunder at the weekend, when millions of viewers missed England skipper Steven Gerrard’s fourth-minute goal due to a rogue advertising spot interrupting the channel’s match coverage.

But surely there was one beneficiary in all of the frustration: namely Hyundai, the carmaker whose ad appeared in the 20-second spot.

According to The Capitalist’s advertising guru, similar ads placed just prior to kick-off – let alone smack bang in the middle of the action – would net ITV almost £300,000 a pop, which certainly isn’t to be sniffed at.

Despite all this, though, Hyundai itself certainly isn’t thanking ITV for the reams of extra publicity. “Of course we do want as many people as possible to watch our ads, but we love football and preventing people watching an important match would never, ever be something we would have wished for,” sniffs a company spokesman. “They have apologised to us profusely and assured us that it won’t happen again.”

Actually, Hyundai shouldn’t be too hopeful about that. A couple of years ago, protests broke out when the channel showed an advert just as Lewis Hamilton made a crucial overtaking move in the last lap of an F1 race. And last year, coverage of a Liverpool/Everton FA Cup clash was interrupted at another crucial moment by an unscheduled ad break, returning to live football only to see Everton celebrating their goal. Shouldn’t some heads be rolling by now?

Speaking of that less-than-titanic tie between the UK and the US, City thinking caps were hard at work yesterday dreaming up jokes about goalie Rob Green.

The best one so far? What is the difference between Green’s spill and BP’s?

At least Green has a cap for his.

News just in from CNBC, which has conducted a poll among online readers on whether or not embattled BP chief executive Tony Hayward (right) should be forced to resign.

Out of 1,893 responses so far, a relatively slim 37 per cent want Hayward’s head, while 63 per cent think he should stay. Given the vast majority of readers are US-based, it appears that talk of vehement anti-Brit sentiment has been overblown.

Spotted in the gentlemen’s toilets at the Old Bell Tavern on Fleet Street: a miniature football goal residing in the bottom of one of the urinals, complete with tiny football hanging from the crossbar. A particularly gruesome form of target practice?

Rant of the week, courtesy of the MPC’s Adam Posen, who has been waxing lyrical on the ECB’s bond purchase strategy.

“Cultures which make a public fixation of virginal purity, of a stylized maiden’s reputation, tend to be backward superstitious cultures that impede people making responsible choices,” he fired off. “What matters [is whether young people] are promiscuous, engaging in unsafe behaviour… So it is, too for the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and all other central banks.” Priceless.