Heinz poaches Counsel MD as agency winds up

Heinz has lured Nigel Dickie, veteran MD of its corporate agency Counsel, to its newly created top comms role.

Dickie's imminent exit from Huntsworth-owned Counsel coincides with the revelation that the agency is to be dissolved.

Dickie, who has been with the food specialist agency for more than two decades, will take up the board position of director of corporate and government affairs for Heinz UK and Ireland on 7 November. He will report to UK and Ireland president Jane Miller.

'I have worked with Heinz as a client for many years, so the opportunity to join the company was too good to pass up,' Dickie said. 'We decided the best thing for Counsel staff and clients was to wind the agency up and redistribute accounts within the Huntsworth group.'

Consumer clients, including British Chicken Marketing and Yoplait Dairy Crest, will be now be handled by sister agency EH PR's Windsor office (PRWeek, 21 October). Heinz, Sun Chemical and other B2B and trade clients will move to Grayling.

'Account handlers will move with their clients over the next couple of weeks,' said Dickie, adding that there would be no redundancies among Counsel's 16 staff.

Dickie will take charge of Heinz's product and brand PR, as well as media relations management. He will also be responsible for relations with trade bodies, NGOs and government.

Heinz continues to use Shine Communications for consumer PR.

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