NEWS IN BRIEF

A brief look at the industry's main developments across all the major sectors.

CELEBRITY Heather Mills, the estranged wife of Sir Paul McCartney, is currently facing the tabloids without a UK-based PRO. Her friend and US publicist Michele Elyzabeth is handling all her personal PR from LA. Mills and retained adviser Phil Hall parted company last week.

PUBLIC SECTOR Steve Field, currently a senior civil servant in the Treasury’s international finance directorate, is to start as head of comms on 20 November, reporting to permanent secretary Nick Macpherson.

CONSUMER Cow PR is working with Power Rangers and Jetix UK on a cross-business PR campaign to celebrate the longevity of the Power Rangers brand, as the TV show prepares for its 15th season.

TECHNOLOGY Software firm Ether-Ray is seeking PR support for a global campaign due to start in 2008. The successful agency will help grow the London company’s business in EMEA, the US and Asia.

CONSUMER Paramount Restaurant, owner of the Chez Gérard restaurant chain, has brought in Midlands-based Punch Communications Group to launch regional venues in Oxford, Bath and Henley-on-Thames.

CORPORATE The Debt Advisor has enlisted Bell Pottinger North to raise awareness of its brands in the debt advisory market. The agency will also advise business-focused Business Debt Advisor.

AGENCY Publicis Groupe is to buy an Indian PR agency, which it will align with Manning Selvage & Lee. Hamner & Partners has 350 staff in 42 cities.

CONSUMER The makers of Fairtrade brands Divine Chocolate and Cafedirect have brought in Bluebear to launch the Liberation Foods brand. The account was won following a three-way pitch.
AGENCY A management and communications consultancy has been launched to work on businesses’ ethical corporate comms policies. Etico is headed by MD Will Murray, a former marketing director at BT.

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