<b>NEWS BRIEFS:</b

NEW YORK: The Mothers' Council, a group concerned with the commercialization of childhood, has released a report blasting the marketing industry for its inability to regulate itself when it comes to pitching to children. The report, released Tuesday, raises concerns such as targeting very young children and the use of peer-to-peer marketing. The group cited a recent Harris Interactive poll in which youth marketers said it was appropriate to begin marketing to children at age 7. (See related story)

KENILWORTH, NJ: Schering-Plough has appointed Alex Kelly as VP of investor relations.

NEW YORK: The MWW Group has been retained by 24/7 Real Media, an interactive marketing company that offers publishers and advertisers a platform of serving, targeting, tracking, and analytics technologies.

MONTREAL: Cohn & Wolfe is changing the name of its Montreal office from Pyramid/Cohn & Wolfe to Cohn & Wolfe Montreal.

CHICAGO: Communications veterans Dennis McSweeney and Michael Antman, former partners in The Weiser Group, have formed a corporate branding and communications consulting firm, McSweeney & Antman.

LOS ANGELES: IR agency Financial Relations Board has appointed Laurie Berman as VP.

SEATTLE: The Washington Lottery has renewed its relationship with Publicis' Seattle office for a host of marketing services, including PR from Publicis Dialog. Publicis has worked with the Washington lottery since 1998.

SAN FRANCISCO: The National Wildlife Federation has hired The Bateman Group to provide PR services for its media properties, National Wildlife and eNature.com. The agency's first initiative is the re-launch of the magazine.

NEW YORK: CooperKatz & Company has promoted four executives to senior positions: Anne Green to SVP, client services; Susan Pralgever to VP, client services; Andrea Martone to VP, media services; and Steve Rubel to VP, client services.

WASHINGTON: Sue Hensley will join the National Restaurant Association as SVP in the marketing, communications, and media relations division. Katharine Kim has been promoted to VP of media relations.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ: Brodeur Worldwide has been selected by eFunds as its agency of record. The company provides risk management, electronic payment, ATM, and global-outsourcing services and products.

BOSTON: Morrissey & Company has added three life-sciences companies: DUSA Pharmaceuticals, which develops and markets treatments for dermatological conditions; Springborn Smithers Laboratories, a contract research organization; and NeoTropiX, a new viral oncology research enterprise.

RICHMOND, VA: Carter Ryley Thomas Public Relations and Marketing Counsel has signed six new clients: Amerigroup Foundation, Downtown Norfolk Council, C.E. Thurston & Sons, Hampton Roads Clean Cities Coalition, Virginia Health Quality Center, and Brightpoint.

PALO ALTO, CA: Allison & Partners has launched a tech practice in its Silicon Valley office. The firm's technology clients include eUniverse, Amphus, and Intralinks. Tom Woolf will serve as director of the new practice.

WASHINGTON: The Alliance of Community Health Plans has brought Paul Skowronek on board as director of communications. Skowronek was formerly an SAE on healthcare issues with Porter Novelli.

ATLANTA: PR agency Hayslett Sorrel has changed its name to Hayslett Group following the retirement of co-founder Mary Sorrel last year.

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