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SURVEY: UK PR firms boosted their profit margins from 10.9 per cent to 13 per cent on average last year, according to Financial Performance of Marketing Services Companies, an annual survey conducted by Willott Kingston Smith. But the accounting firm said that half of the top 30 PR consultancies reported a decline in operating profits.

APPOINTMENT: Rosemary Grogan, co-founder of public affairs and strategic comms shop APCO UK, has joined Morgan Allen Moore as a consultant. Grogan, who was also a founding director of Westminster Strategy, will advise on business development for the agency’s Cardiff operation on a freelance basis.

CONSUMER: The Walt Disney Company’s consumer electronics division has appointed The Red Consultancy to co-ordinate PR strategy across Europe for six video and audio products targeted at children. Disney plans to expand its consumer electronics line with new product launches in 2004.

MEDIA: BBC Bristol has appointed freelance cameraman Ian Fergusson as its new manager of press and PR. Fergusson, who worked in the same role for Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue, will replace Helen Richards.

CONSUMER: Premier Foods has appointed CirKle Communications to manage trade relations PR across the company’s 25 brands, which include Branston Pickle. CirKle previously worked with Premier Foods on the relaunch of the Cross & Blackwell brand last month.

TECHNOLOGY: WebEx Communications, the internet conferencing company, has appointed Brands2Life as its UK PR adviser and co-ordinator for advice on European PR. Brands2Life co-founder Harriet Rich is managing the account and is briefed to build awareness of WebEx in various media.

AGENCY RESTRUCTURING: Beattie Media, Scotland’s largest PR company, has split into four operating units: Beattie Communications (PR and employee comms); Beattie Events (parties and awards dinners); Beattie New Media (internet and intranet) and the already existing Platinum (PR for small and medium-sized companies).

SEMINAR: Derek Yach, the representative of the World Health Organisation’s director-general, is to speak at a seminar on European obesity at the London offices of Weber Shandwick on 30 October.

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