News in brief

PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Communications super-regulator Ofcom has hired Simon Crine as director for England. Crine joins the external relations team in late February, from ACPO UK, where he has held a role as director of PA and government relations.

LIFE SCIENCES: Julia Phillips, former MD of healthcare agency Noonan Russo, has resurfaced in a partner role at the life sciences arm of Financial Dynamics. Phillips reports to divisional MD David Yates. The standalone Noonan Russo brand ceased to exist last month when The Maitland Consultancy and Euro RSCG Life Noonan Russo launched Maitland Noonan Russo (PRWeek, 12 December 2003).

CONSUMER PR: Start-up agency Create PR has launched a consumer and trade PR campaign to promote Outin, a ‘real-time restaurant booking service’. Create, launched last month by ex-Talk Loud general manager Greg Wixted and former Ego PR & Marketing director Dylan Watkins, is netting £120,000 for the work.

DUBLIN: Weber Shandwick FCC has reorganised its top-level management. MD Eileen Gleeson has become chairman and has been replaced by Mary McCarthy and Siobhan Molloy, who become joint-MDs. The agency was founded in 1989 and became part of Weber Shandwick in 2000.

HEALTHCARE: Atlas Media Group has acquired Communiqué, the East Anglia-based PR and web design agency. Atlas MD Bob Schofield said acquisitions of other, similar companies were planned. Communiqué will continue to be managed locally by directors Richard Carter and Mark Prentice.

CONSUMER PR: Starfish Communications is to launch a media relations campaign to promote Fashion Fringe, a national campaign to ‘discover the hottest design talent in Britain’. The PR work will support a regional tour for talent.

MEDIA RELATIONS: Bastion has launched a media relations push for six titles from games publisher CE Europe. The agency is promoting titles such as MegaMan X7, which will be available on PlayStation 2 for the first time in March.

APPOINTMENT: Hard Rock Café International has hired Coyne PR as its US agency of record. The agency will handle work ranging from events to corporate PR, reporting to senior director of marketing Steve Glum.

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