In brief: Former minister joins Hume Brophy, tech vendor SolidFire takes on Champion, BBC's Reid leads comms at environment group, Westminster Policy Institute hire

Former minister joins Hume Brophy, tech vendor SolidFire takes on Champion, BBC's Tim Reid leads comms at environmental group, former Cameron research joins Westminster Policy Institute and more from PRWeek UK.

McVey: Now advising Hume Brophy clients (Credit: Gareth Milner via Flickr)
McVey: Now advising Hume Brophy clients (Credit: Gareth Milner via Flickr)

Former minister joins Hume Brophy as adviser

Former UK employment minister Esther McVey, a Conservative MP between 2010 and 2015, has been taken on as a senior adviser at comms consultancy Hume Brophy. The appointment, which will see her provide strategic counsel to business, trade body and third sector clients on their comms and strategic positioning, was confirmed by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments yesterday.

Tech vendor SolidFire takes on Champion

Champion Communications has been retained as the UK agency for global tech vendor SolidFire. The ongoing contract was awarded following a six-way pitch. Brands2Life was the previous incumbent. Champion said it was "developing and implementing a communications strategy that integrates earned media with SolidFire’s inbound marketing and sales programme".

BBC's Tim Reid leads comms at environmental group

Former BBC political correspondent Tim Reid has been appointed director of comms at the London and Brussels environmental charity ClientEarth. Reid moves into the role in December. He joined the BBC in 1997 following a career in local newspapers, initially working for the corporation as a radio news reporter, and has since appeared on every BBC news outlet.

Former Cameron researcher joins Westminster Policy Institute

Westminster Policy Institute has appointed Simon Horner as associate to lead the agency’s financial services work. Horner, who was previously director of policy and public affairs at the British Venture Capitalist Association and a former researcher for David Cameron, will provide public affairs and corporate comms advice to financial services firms as well as advice around the impending EU referendum. The agency was formed last year.

JBP Associates launches energy practice

JBP Energy, a new specialist division of the comms agency JBP Associates, was launched yesterday by new principal associate Clive Moffatt. Moffatt, who has worked with a number of major clients in the wholesale and retail gas and electricity markets as a freelancer and with his own business, was formerly a Financial Times and BBC journalist.

Llorente & Cuenca acquires Brazilian agency

Iberian and Latin American comms and public affairs firm Llorente & Cuenca has continued its expansion by acquiring a majority stake in Brazil-based S/A Comunicação. The move will see the merger of their operations in Brazil under the name S/A Llorente & Cuenca, employing 80 PR professionals. Cuba is among other regions being targeted by the group, which got a €6.4m (£4.6m) capital injection from MBO Partenaires earlier this year.

Holyrood PR wins trio of clients

Edinburgh-based Holyrood PR has been awarded a one-year contract to provide PR for Musselburgh Racecourse. This follows the agency securing the City of Perth Winter Festival, a two-month contract from October until December, and luxury brand Tigerlily on another two-month contract that runs September to November.

Victoria Sheridan Consultancy taken on by property firm

Victoria Sheridan Consultancy has been hired by private property partnership Strutt & Parker. The six-month brief is the first time S&P has outsourced its PR, and a priority for the agency will be launching its client's new regional offices in Surrey and Berkshire.

The Communication Group wins new shoes business

The Communication Group has been appointed to launch luxury men's shoe brand Sons of London. The brand was launched to market earlier this month by former City professional Sepand Oboudiyat. One other agency pitched for the initial six-month contract, which will be led by The Communication Group's aptly named associated director Lara Buckle.

Farm work for Social Communications

Social Communications has been appointed by Surrey's Coast Hill Farm to support the planning, consultation and PR for a new anaerobic digestion system to recover natural fertiliser and renewable energy for the farm from animal manure and food waste. The planning application is due to go in before Christmas, with a decision to be made by spring 2016.

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