News round-up: Tia Maria, Adam Ant and Cake

House PR has won its fifth First Drinks brand, Tia Maria, after a competitive pitch.

Tia Maria: House PR will promote the drinks brand
Tia Maria: House PR will promote the drinks brand

It will lead the consumer PR (which has included the Tia Maria music room), press office and news generation as the company repositions the coffee liqueur in the UK.

Surya Foods, the world foods company, has appointed specialist ethnic marketing and PR agency Media Moguls to handle its product comms strategy across the UK.

EML Wildfire's director of digital strategies Danny Whatmough has left the agency to join Ketchum's digital and social team as associate digital and social media director.

KPMG's comms director for UK and EMEA Gavin Houlgate is leaving after 12 years. Following his departure the professional services firm will merge the internal and external comms teams.

TheCityUK, which promotes the financial services industry internationally, has hired Juliet Carey as director of PR and marketing. Carey will work with CEO Chris Cummings.

Whoosh PR has been engaged to handle PR for TravelSim, which sells international prepaid roaming products.

Vantage Finance, the loans broker, has appointed Stand Agency to develop and implement its PR strategy.

Cake has brought in former Haygarth digital creative director Leroyson Figueira as creative director in its London office.

Adam Ant has retained Chrome PR in Beverly Hills for his upcoming North American tour in support of his new album.

The week in global PR

Major US PR firms have posted modest organic revenue growth in the first quarter of 2012. Interpublic's PR firms, which include Weber Shandwick, GollinHarris and DeVries Global, showed growth of four per cent (compared with 5.4 per cent for the same period last year), while Omnicom's PR interests, which include Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli, reported a 1.9 per cent rise (4.4 per cent in Q1 2012).

Energtek, the energy services supplier, has hired Edelman affiliate Wolf Communications to handle PR in Israel. Wolf will help increase awareness of the firm and its oil and gas exploration work in Israel.

Vivid Sydney, an annual celebration of the creative industries and the largest light, music and ideas event in the Southern Hemisphere, has selected Huntington Communications to handle PR in Singapore.

Weber Shandwick has hired global PR director at the World Triathlon Corporation Jessica Weidensall as a director in its Denver office supporting the global sports team. WS has also picked up contracts worth US$14m (£9.2m) from the state of Maryland and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to launch campaigns promoting insurance marketplaces mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The CMS work has a budget in excess of US$8m (£5.25m).

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The week in healthcare

Viavi, a private health management service aimed at the world's most successful people, has appointed PHA Media to handle its PR. The agency is charged with communicating the company's healthcare services to people through high-end lifestyle, business and international media. PHA will also aim to raise the profile of chairman Chris Jessop and chief executive Dr Sabine Donnai.

Fuel PR has brought in comms specialist Olivia Timbs, who edited the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's journal for 12 years until the end of 2012, to provide advice and comms support for its pharmacy clients.

The Office of Fair Trading has accused GlaxoSmithKline of paying rivals to delay the release of their own versions of its Seroxat antidepressant treatment. It alleges that Alpharma, Generics UK and Norton Healthcare all received money not to enter the market with their versions of Seroxat. GSK said it acted within the law.

10 Yetis has been retained by online fitness retailer to handle its PR activity.

The public sector week

Tom Stannard has been appointed to the new role of director of comms and public affairs for the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Stannard, who has 15 years of experience in local government, was previously director of policy and comms at Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Brighton and Hove City Council has issued guidelines to its staff and elected members regarding the use of social media. Included in the guidance is not using blogs, Facebook or Twitter when judgement 'might be impaired'. It also warns against accepting a council employee or contractor providing services as a 'friend' on social media 'where this suggests close personal association.'

The Further Education Reputation Strategy Group is to launch a toolkit that helps staff become better ambassadors for their employers across the further education sector. The toolkit will include video content and follows recent research on the issue.

The week in the City

Angel Trains, the British train rolling stock asset manager, has brought in Grayling to handle its corporate comms in the UK. The appointment is in addition to the public affairs programme that Grayling has been running for Angel Trains since 2011.

N Brown, the FTSE 250 home shopping company, has hired Newgate Communications as its retained financial and corporate PR adviser. Executive chairman Jonathan Clare and director of international development Fergus Wylie will lead the account.

Abchurch Communications' financial PR client Frenkel Topping Group has called in the agency to co-ordinate its social media. Frenkel Topping provides financial advice on the investment of personal injury damages and clinical negligence awards. The work will be led by creative director Anna Boyd and account director Simone Elviss.

Walbrook PR served as financial PR adviser to med tech firm Cambridge Cognition Holdings for its IPO. It handled comms with the financial media, research analysts and investors for the placing, which raised £6.4m on London's AIM last week.

Legal Business journalist Emma Sadowski has joined City law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain as marketing and comms manager.

The week in lobbying

One Housing Group, the not-for-profit housing association that operates in the South East of England, has called in Connect Communications to handle its public affairs. Connect reports to One Housing Group's head of comms and marketing Fiona Wrighton.

The Whitehouse Consultancy has promoted Carl Thomson from senior consultant to one of two associate directors. He joined in 2010 and previously served as a researcher to Theresa May, then shadow secretary of state for the family, and for culture, media and sport. He was also senior parliamentary assistant to John Redwood, then shadow secretary of state for deregulation.

Animal Defenders International, the animal rights pressure group, has lost its legal appeal to allow political advertising on British TV. Its case to overturn a ban on an ad because it was deemed to be a political group was rejected by the European Court of Human Rights by nine votes to eight.

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