In brief: World's 50 Best Restaurants hires Relevance, new role for ex-Wild Card MD, PopSockets hires Cake

Stannah stairlifts appoints Bottle, Sauce hires ex-Wild Card MD, beef jerky brand picks Palm PR, Hastee Pay hires Whiteoaks, and more from PRWeek UK.

The World's 50 Best Restaurants names first retained agency

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has appointed Relevance International as its first retained global agency. Relevance, which has offices in the US and UK, was initially hired to handle the event in Bilbao, Spain earlier this year, which attracted nearly 50,000 pieces of coverage. The new brief includes promotion of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ #50BestTalks programme in San Francisco on 12 September, and an event in London next month to announce the location of the 2019 ceremony. "During Relevance’s time working with us in our initial engagement, the firm achieved greater media exposure than ever received in the brand’s 16-year history," said Hélène Pietrini, director of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

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Sauce hires ex-Wild Card MD

Tessa Willmott, formerly MD at food-and-drink specialist agency Wild Card, has joined Sauce Communications as a director. Sauce said Willmott will look to build on the agency’s food, drink and wellness brand portfolio, alongside its travel client roster. Sauce founder Nicky Hancock said: "We have known and worked alongside Tess for many years and feel confident that she will bring a fresh business and leadership dimension to Sauce – supporting our growth both in client portfolios and team development." The independent consumer agency has a team of 25 and over £2.5m annual fee income. Restaurant clients, include D&D Restaurants, Paul Ainsworth and Sat Bains.

Stannah stairlifts appoints Bottle

Home stairlift brand Stannah has appointed Bottle on a retained basis to lead its UK PR. Bottle won a three-way competitive pitch to support Stannah’s in-house PR team to deliver a creative PR programme. The brief spans ongoing retainer work plus campaigns. Natasha Hill, MD of Bottle, said: "Our task is to get across the core values of Stannah, sharing the life-changing moments their products enable. We are also looking forward to the challenge of helping unpick the ‘silver’ demographic – instead of talking to one homogenous audience group, our work will recognise all of the different tribes and attitudes that exist in the 65+ market."

PopSockets takes a piece of Cake

Phone grip and accessory brand PopSockets has appointed Cake as its lead PR, social and experiential agency across EMEA, following a competitive pitch. Cake’s brief is to help grow the brand’s presence in key territories and consolidate its worldwide growth targets in the second half of 2018 and beyond, the agency said. It is set to use PR, social, influencers and events in promotions.

LK Bennett tries on Threepipe for size

British luxury brand LK Bennett has appointed Threepipe as its sole paid search and SEO agency following a competitive pitch. The brand, founded in the 1990s, is renowned for its signature kitten heels. Farhad Koodoruth, co-founder of Threepipe, said: "LK Bennett is a brand we have wanted to work with for a long time and its fantastic to join the team which is ambitious for further growth. We are confident that our approach, which is people and not product focused, is the key to future success."

Beef jerky brand picks Palm PR

Food-and-drink specialist comms agency Palm PR has been hired to launch beef jerky brand The Curators in the UK via an integrated PR and influencer campaign. It follows a six-way pitch. The brand has a secured a nationwide deal to supply Sainsbury’s. Liam Keogh, a Palm PR founding director, said: "Palm’s integrated campaign will help the brand secure a share of the UK’s burgeoning meat snacks market by publicising its high quality and delicious offering."

Taxi campaign to continue

The Knowledge of London campaign, emphasising the diversity among taxi drivers, is set to continue, organisers say. The campaign, from promotional body The London Taxi PR, depicts drivers of both genders and different ethnic backgrounds and has the slogan: "I did it, so can you." Extra funding from groups including the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association means the campaign will now continue for longer. The London Taxi PR credited the campaign with a recent spike in students interested in becoming London taxi drivers, especially from women.

East of Eden to represent Amy Winehouse Foundation

East of Eden, the 'brand experience and social change agency', has been appointed to manage all press and communications campaign work for the Amy Winehouse Foundation. The brief begins this month and includes the Amy Winehouse Foundation Gala on 11 of October. The agency has also been hired to represent clothing brand Riz Boardshorts.

Hastee Pay hires Whiteoaks

Hastee Pay, the London-based fintech company that specialises in on-demand payment, has appointed tech PR agency Whiteoaks International. The brief is to raise awareness of Hastee Pay, its key spokespeople and technology outside of healthcare sector. Whiteoaks International, which was appointed following a competitive pitch, is to develop and execute a media relations campaign.

David Roach

Cardew Group director sets up shop

David Roach (above), a former director at Cardew Group, has left the agency to set up his own strategic comms consultancy, David Roach Consulting. The agency will advise clients in the transport, leisure and infrastructure sectors, among others, on complex situations, reputation and regulatory issues and corporate and social responsibility. Roach has worked with clients in corporate affairs and media relations since 2005 and advised companies across the UK, EU, Africa and Asia. He stood as the Conservative Party candidate in East Lothian during the 2015 General Election and, although unsuccessful, increased the party’s vote in the constituency to its best result in more than 20 years. Roach was also leader of the Vote Leave campaign team in Central London during the EU referendum and is the development partner for the mental health research charity MQ, which was launched earlier this year. 

Arcade win for boutique agency

Boutique fashion and beauty agency Aisle 8 has been appointed as the comms agency for London’s Burlington Arcade. Agency co-founder Lauren Stevenson will lead the PR, brand and media partnerships events, as well as the social media presence for the retail area, which is home to iconic luxury brands Eres, Manolo Blaknik and Penhaligon’s.

JIN makes strategy hire

JIN, the PR and digital influence agency, has hired Yvan Kraut as head of strategy & insights. He will support the agency’s strategic and creative arm and head its data and studies activities, said the firm, which has offices in Paris, London, Hamburg and New York. Kraut’s previous roles include director of strategic planning at Hopscotch, and head of studies for the European Commission.

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