News in brief

Max Clifford has been retained by Middlesbrough FC manager Steve McClaren, the frontrunner to be named England’s next football coach as PRWeek went to press. McClaren used him to manage last weekend’s front-page revelation that he had had an affair.

SPORT Newly promoted Reading FC is recruiting for a press officer as the Berkshire club prepares to join the Premiership. The postholder, to be appointed by July, will report to head of comms Andy West.

SURVEY PRWeek and Brands2Life are seeking corporate comms directors to complete a survey investigating the changing role of the communications director.  Brands2Life will donate £1 to charity Tommy's for each respondant. http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB22575MKGECQ

CONSUMER Norwich Union is to use The Television Consultancy to provide broadcast support for its sponsorship of UK Athletics until the 2012 Olympics. It is the first time the firm has retained a broadcast agency.

CORPORATE Procurement firm The Achilles Group has brought in Cubitt Consulting on a global PR and lobbying brief. Cubitt partner Ross Gow heads the account. The agency won the work after a five-way pitch.

CONSUMER Spanish hotel chain Occidental has hired BGB Communications to promote its luxury all-inclusive resorts in the UK. In particular, the chain is keen to drum up UK custom for its new Cayo Ensenachos resort in Cuba.

CONSUMER Marcoms agency Clownfish is launching The Cities Book – a 'coffee-table' title – for Lonely Planet by holding breakfast events in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and London over the next fortnight. A campaign will encourage consumers to discover alternative landmarks in their city.

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