City & Corporate: The Week in City & Corporate

Finsbury wins Alliance Boots account, Northern Bank hires MCE Public Relations.

Alliance Boots is to move from its long-standing corporate PR agency Gavin Anderson and turn to Finsbury as its retained financial comms adviser. Finsbury has an existing relationship with the firm, having worked with the Boots Group in 2005 before its merger with Alliance UniChem. Gavin Anderson's worldwide chairman and CEO Richard Constant has agreed to continue advising Alliance Boots on financial comms and media relations for a period of time to enable a smooth transition to Finsbury.

MCE Public Relations has won a contract to provide retained PR services for Northern Ireland's Northern Bank. The account will include consumer and corporate PR and will be led by MCE managing director and CIPR Northern Ireland chairman Paul McErlean, along with three others from the agency. MCE won the brief with the bank after a competitive pitch process.

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has taken on Asda'a Burson-Marsteller to lead corporate media relations in the Middle East and Africa. The agency, which formed this year, won the account following a competitive pitch process believed to include eight agencies, including incumbent Porter Novelli. The hotel group has outsourced its press office function in the region to Asda'a Burson Marsteller and the brief will include branding and CSR. The agency will also work on an outbound consumer brief for Intercontinental Hotels in Europe.

Allerton Communications, the financial and corporate comms consultancy, has relocated to newly refurbished premises in a former warehouse building near London Bridge. Meanwhile, the agency has hired Beatriz Bailey as an account executive. Bailey recently graduated from the University of Surrey.

Hoover Candy has given Rattle PR a brief to provide trade and consumer PR after a six-way pitch. The Manchester-based agency has been brought in to handle the launches of appliances under both the Hoover and Candy brand names during 2008. Rattle's MD Nigel Hughes will lead the three-strong team on the account, reporting to Heather England, marketing manager at Hoover Candy.

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