News in brief

CITY Sports Direct is sounding out Bell Pottinger, Finsbury and Citigate Dewe Rogerson in its search for a retained City agency. The firm dropped Tulchan soon after its float earlier this year.

AGENCY Media Strategy, the agency set up by John Major's former press secretary Charles Lewington, has changed its name to Hanover. The rebrand is part of a five-year plan to become a top 30 UK consultancy.

CONSUMER RMS PR has beaten four agencies to win an account with the country's first consu­mer gambling show, The UK Bet Show, to take place at the Birmingham NEC in September.

AGENCY Italian comms agen­cy Barabino and Partners has open­ed its first UK office. The Mayfair office will focus on Italian listed companies.

CORPORATE Former Freemantle­Media head of corporate commun­ications Debra Johnson has joined ING Media as associate director.

CONSUMER Storm Communications has won an account to promote the London Food Festival, a new festival run by Dew Events, on 7-9 September.

CRISIS Express package delivery service Mail Boxes Etc has appointed Oxford­shire-based Bottle PR. It will inc­rease brand awareness and handle crisis commun­ications.

CONSUMER Lucre has landed a brief with Baco Consumer Products, the company behind BacoFoil. The agency will publicise the Baco Rainbow product range for children.

CORPORATE Regional transport body Centro-WMPTA has appointed Steve Swin­gler as media manager. He is ­
curr­ently news editor at the Birm­ing­ham Mail.

AGENCY Jonathan Horsman has been appointed to the board of strategic and crisis communications consul­tancy Project Associates. He is a for­mer head of public affairs at Provident Financial.

CORPORATE The CEO of Gero­nimo Com­munications' parent company The Tribal Group, Henry Pitman, is to step down on 4 June. Executive direc­tor Peter Martin will succeed him.

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