News in brief

AGENCY PROMOTIONS: Ruder Finn UK has appointed client services directors Claire Astle and Pat Pearson as deputy managing directors. They still report to MD John Preston.

CONSUMER PR: Sorted, the new magazine for 12 to 16-year-old boys, has appointed The Outside Organisation for promotional work, targeting potential readers and their parents, according to Sorted founder Russell Church. Band &Brown Communications’ iJack division won a contract to promote Sorted to online journalists last month.

TECH PR: Microsoft has poached Banner PR senior director Tracey Pretorius as analyst and PR manager.

CORPORATE PR: Close Motor Finance, the motor trade insurance company set up by financial group Close Brothers, has hired Lawson Dodd to handle its corporate PR, targeting at trade, regional and consumer press. The agency reports to CMF managing director Janet Wilson.

CONSUMER PR: Hotel reservations website PlacesToStay.com has hired Rooster to handle its consumer PR across the UK and five continental markets including Germany and France. Rooster will work alongside US firm The Castle Group, which promotes the site in the US.

FOOD EXHIBITION: IIR Exhibitions is launching a PR push to promote its Vitafoods exhibition to the makers of food and cosmetic ingredients. Storm Communications is to manage a press office in London and Geneva, where the show takes place from11-13 May.

CONSUMER PR: Game publisher Codemasters has hired Cohn & Wolfe to handle the launch of LMA Manager 2004 for PlayStation 2 and X-Box. C&W’s sport and sponsorship team is handling the account.

CLARIFICATION: Last week’s report about Imperial Tobacco contained a number of errors. The successful pitching agency will report to Imperial head of corporate communications Jacqueline Smithson. The Commons public accounts committee did not, as stated, accuse Imperial of ‘selling more illegally smuggled cigarettes of two of its main brands than were bought legitimately’ last month. HM Customs and Excise has said it is satisfied with the co-operation it is receiving from Imperial and last July signed a Memorandum of Understanding that formalised protocols to combat the smuggling and counterfeiting of tobacco products. Apologies.

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