News in brief

CORPORATE Marconi group comms director David Beck is set to leave the troubled telecoms firm after Ericsson completes its buyout of the majority of Marconi’s assets. Beck will stay until March to recruit a head of IR and comms for Telent, the Marconi arm that is not part of the deal.

CONSUMER Big D, the pub peanuts company whose backing board reveals more of a bikini-clad woman each time a packet is removed, has brought in Communique to push the brand to pub-goers and licensees.

TECH Firefly Communications has hung on to the UK brief for telecoms company and football World Cup sponsor Avaya. It has held the account for five years. The pitch for Avaya's pan-European contract and other in-country briefs continues (PRWeek, 9 December 2005).

CONSUMER Hunt for It, a UK online venture touting itself as a potential competitor to online auction brand eBay, is using Threepipe Communications to handle its PR. The site, backed by entrepreneur Rikki Hunt, alerts users via mobile when they need to up their bid. 

TRAVEL The Caribbean island of Dominica is planning a major UK awareness drive to capitalise on growing interest in eco-tourism. The Saltmarsh Partnership is handling UK media and marketing campaigns.

CONSUMER Liverpool's plan to lure high-end shoppers from Manchester will be stepped up in March when the former's £75m Met Quarter opens. Manchester-based Ultraviolet is running a national and regional media relations campaign for the centre.

CONSUMERThis year's Isle of Wight Festival, from 9-11 June, will be promoted by Amazing Media and broadcast specialist TX Media. Amazing co-director Anna Graham has handled the account for the past two years, for The Outside Organisation and as a freelance.

CONSUMER Sunjuice, the UK's biggest own-brand juice maker, has taken on PR support to promote its new 'Serious' brand. Lawson Dodd will promote the Serious Soups, Juices and Deserts ranges.

CONSUMER Milk co-operative Dairy Farmers of Britain has raided Manchester agency Communique and United Utilities to bolster its comms team. The largest milk co-op in the UK is instigating a major PR drive to support its £75m purchase of Associated Co-operative Creameries. Lauren Baker and Maria Malatesta will handle internal comms and consumer PR, respectively.

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