News briefs for week ending 14 March

CORPORATE: Global technology and management consultancy BearingPoint is seeking an agency to fill a new EMEA-wide brief.

CORPORATE: Virgin Atlantic, EasyJet, Ryanair and BMI have joined forces to challenge the way the UK's biggest airports are regulated. The airline brands will lobby against increased airport charges.

CITY: Office supply firm Corporate Express has brought in FD's London office to defend a £1.8bn takeover bid by US stationer giant Staples. In a moribund market the deal represents one of the biggest of the year.

IN-HOUSE: Alliance Boots has promoted Yves Romestan to the newly created role of director of group comms. He will also continue his current responsibilities as director of comms for Alliance Healthcare.

CONSUMER: Edinburgh-based flights search engine Skyscanner is seeking PR support. In January, Skyscanner attracted £2.5m in funding from Scottish Equity Partners.

AGENCY: Launch Group has appointed Kristina Fearnley as its first head of people and practice, a HR-focused role. Fearnley joins Launch from Orange where she headed up the international B2B PR function.

EVENT: VisitScotland scooped the top prize in the CIPR's Grand Prix Awards last week. Other winners included IAS SMARTS, Bray Leino PR and Yorkshire Water. The full list of Grand Prix winners will be published in next week's PRWeek.

IN-HOUSE: Web giant AOL has hired Reuters' European media correspondent Gavin Haycock as UK head of comms, reporting to VP corporate comms Europe Mark Rigby.

CONSUMER: National Museums Scotland has asked Scottish-based agency CM Porter Novelli to drive visitor numbers in the run-up to its partial closure. It has also been appointed to handle media relations for the Fairmont St Andrews hotel.



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