Waughton targets Russia

Former Guinness Group director of public affairs Bill Spears has joined corporate PR consultancy Waughton. The agency is boosting its team for a move into the lucrative Russian commodities market.

Spears, who was most recently V-P of IR and PR for Russian mining and metals group Siberian-Urals Aluminium (Sual), joined Waughton this month.

Spears' appointment follows the arrival at Waughton six months ago of former Shandwick International CEO Richard Sermon.

Sermon is also chairman of Washington DC-based The PBN Company, an international strategic comms firm specialising in Russia, the Ukraine, other CIS countries and the Baltic States.

Before joining Sual in 2003, Spears spent three years as senior external comms manager at IT group Amadeus. He took that job after a two-year stint as a freelance, having spent three years as senior V-P communications for Cunard in New York, where he worked on the revamp of Cunard's image following the 1994 QE2 refit disaster.

One of Spears' more high-profile comms roles came when he joined Guinness in 1989 in the aftermath of its controversial acquisition of Distillers Company.

Waughton founder Robin Hepburn said he hoped Spears would give Waughton the 'broader reach' it needed to go after the 'international flow of business from Russia'.

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