News in brief

A brief look at some of this weeks leading PR news stories.

IRAQ Central Command has replaced Washington-based Rendon Group with Lincoln Group to provide strategic comms in Iraq on a £3.3m, two-year contract (PRWeek, 8 Sep). The work includes monitoring of international and Iraqi media, training and media relations.

CONSUMER Bacardi Martini has handed a project for its Grey Goose vodka brand to APR, finishing its relations with incumbent Purple PR.

AGENCY Vodafone's Australia PR chief Juliet Simpson has quit to launch Edinburgh-based corporate and consumer agency Stripe Communications. Marcoms company Cello Group has taken an 86 per cent majority stake in the firm.

CORPORATE Nike EMEA senior corporate comms manager Mark Rhodes is switching to be associate director, US corporate comms, at its headquarters in Oregon from November. He will be replaced by Nate Tobecksen, media relations manager at the firm's New York office.

CONSUMER Seventy Seven PR has been hired to run PR for the 2007 Daily Mail Ideal Home Show in March. It replaces Resonate.

CORPORATE Drinks industry regulatory body The Portman Group is hunting a comms manager following Sam Jobber's exit after three-and-a-half years to take a career break. It is also recruiting to replace ex-director of comms and campaigns Jim Minton, who left 12 months ago, but in a reformulated role.

CONSUMER Shoe retailer Ravel has hired Primal PR with a brief to attract younger customers. The firm replaces Judy Bennett PR, which was recently wound up (PRWeek, 8 September).

AGENCY Companycare Communications has launched a five-strong consumer spin-off called Escapade, led by Companycare associate director Lynne Goddard and ex-Six Degrees MD Sue Beard.

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