News in brief

A brief look at some of this weeks leading PR news stories.

English National Opera has appointed Channel 4 acting chief publicity manager Mags Patten as director of its own media and PR. She joins in November, reporting to CEO Loretta Tomasi and replaces Sao Bui-Van, who joined MTV (PRWeek, 28 April).

Credit card and loans firm Capital One has appointed Lexis PR on a £100,000, four-month brief after a competitive pitch to support its £9m marketing campaign.

Frank PR has recruited New Look PR manager Jane Hill to head its fashion and beauty division as an associate director. Separately, Frank has been appointed by cleaning products firm WD-40 to work on the WD-40 and 1001 brands, ending Mason Williams' eight-year hold on the business.

Luxury travel firm Abercrombie & Kent has called in agencies to pitch for its PR account. Seven-year incumbent, travel specialist ZFL PRCo, will repitch.

Hilton International has enlisted Mason Williams to launch its newest hotel, in Manchester's Deansgate area, on 7 November.

The British Greyhound Racing Board has hired Freerange Communications to position the sport as a ‘contemporary leisure experience'. Freerange triumphed after a competitive pitch (PRWeek, 16 June).

Waterstones has briefed Cow PR to handle the launch of its first e-commerce site at The high-street chain has previously only sold books via Amazon (PRWeek, 4 Aug). Cow will launch the site on 28 September.

Spanish cava producer Codorníu has taken on Westbury Communications as its first UK PR agency. The firm aims to displace Spanish Freixenet from the top spot in the UK cava market.

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