BREAKING NEWS Global healthcare agency Ruder Finn confirmed that London MD John Preston and CEO Neil Porter have been put on ‘special leave’. Deputy MD Claire Astle has stepped into an interim MD role.

CELEBRITY West Ham United player Freddie Ljungberg has hired The Outside Organisation, parting company with Barbara Charone’s MBC PR. Outside has hired ICM Models comms boss Dawn Mason to head its newly formed talent division.

CONSUMER Lucre has won a brief from Holiday Extras. It will work across all areas of its business: themed breaks, airport parking, and airport hotels. Director Sally Heatherington will head the account, reporting to PR manager Helen Gillilan.

CORPORATE Financial services firm Lehman Brothers has brought in Brunswick as its lead financial agency for a brief believed to be in the seven-figure bracket. The agency reports to head of corporate communications, Europe and Asia, Andrew Gowers.

AGENCY International Financing Review (IFR) deputy editor Paul Farrow is to join financial agency Merlin in September as a director. He is currently responsible for the day-to-day management of the magazine.

PUBLIC SECTOR Ketchum has won a brief to promote the tenth annual Teaching Awards, sponsored by the Department for Children, School and Families. Colman Getty and Idea Generation also pitched.

AGENCY Niko PR is to close and founder Genevieve Nikolopulos is moving to The Sanctuary Spa Group as PR and image director. She will work with Talk PR, which has taken on the Spa Group’s account from Niko.

CORPORATE Engineering and construction firm AMEC has brought in Sue Scholes as communications director. Scholes joins from Australian support services firm Brambles.

CLARIFICATION Weber Shandwick has asked us to point out that it was not ‘ousted’ by hearing-aid firm Phonak as stated in a headline last week. Its Manchester office’s relationship with the firm ended more than a year ago.

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