Edelman PR Worldwide has filled its top public affairs post vacated earlier this month by the departure of Nick Archer to Ogilvy PR Worldwide.
The agency has poached Tesco European public affairs manager Bernard Hughes. He joins Edelman next month after more than nine years in Tesco's government relations function.
Hughes joined the supermarket chain in 1991 and created its UK government and public policy unit before taking on a more Brussels-focused role in the last two years.
In his new post as director of public affairs, Hughes will report to head of public and corporate affairs Stewart Smith. Until recently Smith was head of the agency's corporate division but has taken on responsibility for public affairs following the Archer move.
Prior to joining Tesco, Hughes worked for six years at the British Retail Consortium as press and parliamentary affairs manager. In addition to retail experience, Hughes has handled issues ranging from the reform of the Sunday trading laws in 1992 to the Rip Off Britain campaign in 1998.
Clients he will work on at Edelman include the London Eye, UPS, insurance giant CGNU and Levi's. It is the latter of these that is considered most significant by Edelman management in terms of Hughes' area of expertise.
'He has retail and FMCG experience in public affairs which is an area we hope to build into a specialty,' said Edelman London managing director John Mahony.
A key task for Hughes will be launching Edelman Interactive's e-affairs division, a consultancy service it hopes to launch worldwide next year.