In brief: MSL makes Splash with Butlin's, wins for Montfort, Mango and Battenhall

The Forge poaches senior talent from FHF, agency merger involving Montage, wins for Montfort and Battenhall, and more from PRWeek UK.

MSL makes Splash with Butlin’s pool launch

The British holiday company has partnered with MSL to engage with media and influencers to launch the opening of the £40m seaside-themed swimming pool, Splash, in Bognor Regis. MSL developed a comms strategy to drive "awareness and excitement" among travel, business and consumer lifestyle media. The launch included a themed light show projected on the Art Deco building exterior (pictured, above) by events agency Hot Pickle and their partner White Light. Andrew French, head of PR at Butlin’s said: "The launch of Splash has far surpassed our expectations. Everyone who has experienced the swimming pool first hand has been blown away and we believe we have created an experience that takes our Bognor resort to a whole new level. We can’t wait for our guests to get that same pleasure for years to come."

More news in brief: TV presenter appoints agency, wins for Scriba, Spider and Foco

The Forge takes top talent from FHF

The Forge Comms has expanded its senior team with the hire of Rachel Bowden as associate director. Bowden was previously at FleishmanHillard Fishburn leading global accounts such as Bose and Johnson & Johnson. She will oversee The Forge’s key clients and the agency said she is "pivotal in the company’s growth plans". The hire also comes amid several new account wins, including Canadian kids' snack brand MadeGood and Australia’s edible beauty brand Health Lab. Bowden said the agency’s founders have built an inspiring business. "Why wouldn’t I want to work with them?", she added. "In all honesty, I was bowled over by what they have achieved at The Forge. It’s an exciting time for the agency and I feel super proud to be a part of the team."

Luxury hotel to get spa treatment from Mango PR

Mango PR has been appointed by luxury hotel Sopwell House, in Hertfordshire, to handle PR and communications for the launch of their new £14m, three-story Private Members’ Spa, Cottonmill, this Summer. It aims to combine "the serenity of a spa with the exclusivity of a club". Mango PR will be responsible for executing a creative PR campaign to build awareness and understanding of the brand and its offering in the marketplace across UK. Mango PR director/co-founder Sarah Curra said: "We are delighted to have been appointed by Sopwell House for this much-anticipated launch. Our campaign is designed to bring the story of Cottonmill to life, focusing on its many exclusive and interesting elements in order to showcase its position as one of the most exciting developments in the wellness sector in 2019."

Marketplace amp merges with Montage

Bury St Edmunds-based start-up Marketplace amp, specialist in all aspects of establishing, optimising and amplifying online marketplaces, has merged with its sister agency Montage Communications. The merger will expand the global marketing and e-commerce capabilities of each and help enhance customer experiences, from initial brand discovery via social and PR, through to e-commerce sales. Director and co-founder, Aime Anderson, set up Montage Communications in Bristol 15 years ago with her husband Matthew Anderson, before relocating to Suffolk. She said: "Our decision to merge our agencies is driven by strong, compatible capabilities and expertise, a combined ability to deliver integrated content and product promotion solutions across food and drink, health and beauty, and homewares sectors, and scale to compete with global agencies."

Epic win for Montfort

Montfort Communications has been appointed as strategic communications adviser for Epic Gas, the pressurised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) shipping company. The Montfort team, led by Nick Bastin and including Rob Bailhache, will work closely with the business and their existing advisors to enhance public profile and support investor relations programmes. Epic owns and operates a fleet of 40 modern, pressurised gas carriers providing seaborne services for the transportation of LPG and petrochemicals. Bastin, senior consultant at Montfort, said: "Over a billion people in the world rely on LPG for their energy needs. It plays a critical role in improving living standards by bringing this clean fuel to those who need it in often hard to reach places. We look forward to working with Epic Gas to get this exciting story better appreciated by a variety of stakeholder audiences."

Battenhall takes reins for equestrian event

Event Rider Masters, the "world’s leading" equestrian series, has appointed digital comms shop Battenhall as its social media agency of record for the 2019 season. With global equestrian audiences surging online, the UK-based sports brand will be live streaming all its 2019 events on its website, with video highlights and real-time updates on social media. Battenhall will lead social media strategy, advertising and content for ERM’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels. Event Rider Masters CEO, Jim O’Toole, said: "With three major new tools that encourage audience participation, we expect social media to play a critical role in our business growth this year. Battenhall has the specialist expertise required to help grow our global audience in the upcoming season."

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