The British Retail Consortium (BRC) - which bills itself as the voice of British retailers - has appointed a new director of communications.
David Smith joins the BRC from the Finance and Leasing Association, where he spent nearly two years in a similar role.
He has been given a brief to reshape and promote the work of BRC, a membership organisation representing and promoting the interests and views of 90 per cent of the UK's retail outlets.
'This is a hugely challenging role, which is part of its attraction. I will be responsible for a raft of areas including issues surrounding internet communications, our website, several publications and liasing with our parliamentary office on latest campaigns, as well as general PR and media relations,' he said.
He will also co-ordinate PR over the introduction of chip and pin technology, which could see the disappearance of credit card signatures.
Smith will lead a team of three in the London office, and work with media teams in the organisation's Edinburgh and Brussels offices.
He will report to BRC director general Bill Moyes, who said Smith would be given responsibility to strengthen the organisation's and its members' profiles.
'David joins at an interesting time for the BRC and brings with him a depth of experience,' said Moyes.
Smith has held several key positions in the private and public PR sector, including spells at the Social Work Training Council, where he spent three years, the London Ambulance Service, the Association of County Councils and Cleveland County Council.