News in Brief: Gaucho group brief, PRCA, 3 monkeys

Restaurant group Gaucho has appointed Taylor Herring to handle media relations, following a five-way pitch.

Steak holder: Restaurant group Gaucho appoints Taylor Herring
Steak holder: Restaurant group Gaucho appoints Taylor Herring

The agency will provide PR assistance to 14 restaurants, a cocktail bar, and events such as the Gaucho HPA International Polo tournament.

The PRCA will appear at the Supreme Court next week to contest an earlier Court of Appeal decision on online copyright law.

Hospitality Action, the hospitality industry benevolent organisation, has appointed Mercieca to handle its PR, advertising, digital comms and social programme.

3 Monkeys Communications has hired Hugh Burrows as head of digital. Burrows was most recently head of digital at Unity.

Metamorphic PR has been launched by B2B PR's corporate and marketing comms consultant, Jon Clements.



Global news in brief

Multinational personal care firm Beiersdorf has handed its Middle East PR account to Asda'a Burson-Marsteller following a competitive pitch.

Facebook has hired Brunswick Group's US managing partner Michael Buckley as vice-president of business comms.

Steve Bowen has resigned from his role as Burson-Marsteller's MD, marketing and development, Asia-Pacific, without a job to go to. Asia-Pacific CEO Bob Pickard left B-M last year and has yet to be replaced.

Hertz Australia and New Zealand has called in Sydney-based ICON International Communications after a competitive pitch.

Viacom International Media Networks has appointed Adeline Ong to the new role of senior director of corporate comms for AsiaPacific. She joins from HP.

Toshiba has appointed Howorth, part of Ogilvy PR Australia, as its PR agency, replacing Fuel Communications in the country.

PepsiCo has called in Weber Shandwick to support a project for its AMP Energy drink brand in the US.

Jill Nash has left Levi Strauss & Co, where she was head of comms and senior vice-president of corporate affairs in the US.

Kreab Gavin Anderson has appointed Lu Jin as Beijing managing partner. He replaces Tom Grimmer, who left in August.

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Healthcare news in brief

Makara Health Communications has launched in Surrey. Founded by Louise Sharp and Clare Lucker, the agency provides creative comms services to pharmaceutical health and wellbeing companies and organisations. Sharp, the founding director and partner of Ziacom International, leaves the company after 14 years to set up the agency, while Lucker was most recently senior director at Cohn & Wolfe.

Just Health has bolstered its team with six new hires. David Hanson joins the agency as senior consultant specialising in political relations, from the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Rebecca Hills and Joanna Tubbs join as consultants from Synergy and Munro & Forster respectively, while Debora Atkins, Emma Camden and Stacey Pinchbeck join as junior consultants.

Teva UK has retained Insight Public Affairs following a competitive pitch. Insight will be working on a major stakeholder and market research programme for the pharma company, which claims to be the largest supplier of packs of medicines to the NHS.



Public sector news in brief

The Association of Colleges will hold its sixth annual Communications Conference on 20 March. It will take place at the ICC in Birmingham, with a focus on comms challenges facing colleges and how they are being met by teams across the country. Subjects ranging from social media through to apprenticeships will be covered, with workshops playing a key part.

The Government has pledged to match-fund public donations to a campaign raising money to help the world's poorest prepare for a natural disaster. ActionAid's Ready for Anything campaign starts this week and runs until early May. It is hoped £1.1m will be raised.

Communications Management has launched its Communications Management Global Education Network. The network brings together 25 international PR and comms associates with a focus on partnership to provide comms on the education sector.

Julia Corkey, deputy director of comms at Westminster City Council, has written this week's public sector column on the setting of council tax around the country and the need for councils to explain their spending decisions to the public. To read it, go to



City news in brief

Pelham Bell Pottinger has been appointed by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Canada's largest single-profession pension plan with $117bn (£740m) in net assets, to advise on its European and Asian corporate comms. It will provide strategic counsel to Teachers' senior management team and business units such as private equity and infrastructure. Pelham worked with Teachers' during its bid to acquire Goals Soccer Centres.

CMS Legal Services, the legal and tax services provider, has appointed Cubitt Consulting to undertake a European comms campaign, primarily focused on the UK and German markets. The agency is charged with building CMS' relationships with key audiences in the 28 countries in which its member firms do business. CMS is the largest provider of legal services in Europe.

SCIO Capital, an investment specialist, has hired College Hill to advise on business comms. The agency will provide comms and media relations to the structured credit investment specialist. The College Hill team will be led by partner Mark Lunn.

Third Point Offshore Investors, a London-listed hedge fund, has brought in FTI Consulting to handle financial PR. The agency will look to raise the close-ended fund's profile among private client brokers. The account is led by MD Ed Gascoigne Pees and vice-president Ed Berry.

Clements Worldwide, an insurance firm focusing on expatriates and international organisations, has called in FWD PR as its retained PR agency. The agency will look to grow the firm's profile and promote its products. Its team will be led by account director Andrew Lyons and account manager Kaitlin Bergan.



Lobbying news in brief

Michael Cooper, an account director in Hanover's financial services practice, has been hired by RBS as senior public affairs manager. In his first client-side role, Cooper will focus on EU policy. He will join later this month and report to group head of public affairs Alex Dawtrey. Hanover is looking for a replacement for Cooper.

Pagefield has hired Craig Westwood as a consultant to focus on existing clients and new business opportunities. Westwood is currently the private secretary to Ed Vaizey, the minister for culture, comms and creative industries.

Chris Pond, a former director of the Financial Services Authority between 2007 and 2012 and Labour MP between 1997 and 2005, is joining Kreab Gavin Anderson as partner and head of public affairs. He was also director of the Low Pay Unit from 1980 to 1997, where he successfully campaigned for the national minimum wage.

Labour MP Thomas Docherty's private members' bill, Commercial Lobbyists (Registration and Code of Conduct Bill), was withdrawn after its second reading on 1 February.

Oli Waghorn, once a special adviser to former defence secretary Liam Fox, has joined Interel Consulting as a director. Waghorn will head the defence and security team.

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