News in brief

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

AGENCY Chime Communications this week unveiled first-half figures driven by PR growth. Its PR division, the Bell Pottinger Group, reported an operating income increase of 17 per cent to £22.8m, and operating profit increase of 22 per cent to £4m. See Feature.

CORPORATE Jeremy Hughes has joined the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as associate director, European comms. He was formerly at Citigroup where he was V-P senior press officer (capital markets).

CORPORATE Virgin Holidays is to launch a major CSR push with the ‘adoption' of Brighton beach. The travel firm will bid to keep it litter-free as part of responsible-travel activity.

CONSUMER The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is planning a trade and consumer media campaign using Grappa PR. ACS previously used Tansor PR.

CORPORATE Mulberry Marketing Communications has been appointed by mystery-shopping company Retail Eye. It is the first time Retail Eye has taken on agency support and comes as traditional market research methods come under threat from online polls.

CONSUMER Bennetts Motorcycle Insurance has replaced three-year incumbent Ptarmigan PR with Frank PR (PRWeek, 16 June). The firm, owned by the Budget Group, is the UK's biggest motorcycle insurer. Shine Communications and Brands2Life were shortlisted.

CORPORATE The National Magazine Company has hired Tracey Jaques as corporate PR manager. Previously a publicist at BSkyB, she reports to marketing director Simon Foster.

CONSUMER TV chef Jamie Oliver has taken on Peter Berry, his former publicist at The Outside Organisation. Berry left Outside to go freelance in July, and joined Oliver's staff earlier this month. Previously, Oliver used Caira Parkes's outfit Public Eye.

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