NEWS: STOP PRESS

NUT looks for lobby firm advisers

NUT looks for lobby firm advisers



The National Union of Teachers is looking for a lobbying firm to provide

political advice and monitoring on education issues. The union has

approached at least two firms asking for written proposals. Former NUT

parliamentary affairs adviser Jonathan Hopkins joined lobbyist Ian Greer

Associates in November. The union has used Lowe Bell Political for

project work in the past.



Novotel approaches PR for initiative



Novotel, the French-owned hotel chain, is looking for PR support for

what could be a major new marketing initiative in Europe later this

year. The group is known to have approached at least one PR company -

Edelman - as well as advertising and direct marketing agencies. Novotel

runs 116 hotels in Europe. Last year it unveiled plans to overhaul the

chain in a pounds 195 million six-year programme.



Mobil’s public affairs plans hindered



News of the planned partnership between Mobil and BP has disrupted

Mobil’s plans to create a centralised public affairs unit. Ex-Mobil Oil

Company chairman John Banfield was brought in to oversee public affairs

for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, with his former human resources

chief David Bailey heading up UK public affairs. Previously Mobil North

Sea, Mobil Europe and the Mobil Oil Company had their own dedicated

units. Banfield said the new shared services unit would still be rolled

out but would have to be modified in the light of the joint venture.



Merricks replaces Lockley at Law Society



Andrew Lockley, who has resigned as director of corporate and regional

affairs at The Law Society, is to be temporarily replaced by Walter

Merricks, the Society’s director of professional and legal policy. A

permanent successor will be named by a new secretary general in June.

Lockley quit the society this week amid rumours of a bust up with

president Martin Mears.



Firefly goes to Notting Hill



Firefly has been appointed to handle PR for Notting Hill, the electronic

publishing firm founded by former Independent editor Andreas Whittam

Smith. Firefly displaces Powerhouse which was initially hired to handle

PR for the company, which launches this week.



Goldman leaves Wall Street for B-M



Burson-Marsteller has hired Wall Street Journal advertising columnist

Kevin Goldman as MD of its global media and community relations

practice. He will provide a ‘a global resource’ to clients worldwide and

assist with staff development.



SFO denies PR agency plans



The Serious Fraud Office has insisted it has no immediate plans to

recruit a PR agency despite its recent meeting with Profile Corporate

Communications. James O’Donoghue, SFO head of press and information,

said he met the agency, which initiated contact, because he was ‘always

open to ideas’.



Edelman to launch global Renitek drive



US pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp Dohme has hired Edelman to manage

a global PR campaign for its cardiovascular drug Renitek. Led out of

Edelman’s New York branch, the programme will role out across Europe,

America and Asia Pacific. At least three other agencies pitched for the

business.



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