The Week in Lobbying

- Burson Marsteller has snared one of the Conservative Party's top media handlers. Edward Staite has joined the agency's lobbying practice after seven years with the Tories. Staite's most recent role at Conservative Party HQ was head of regional media. Earlier this year he was seconded to work for Boris Johnson as communications adviser during Johnson's successful London mayoral campaign. In the new role, Staite takes the title of public affairs manager, reporting to George Hutchinson, chair of Burson Marsteller's lobbying arm.

- Ericsson, the leading Swedish-based provider of mobile phone handsets and other communication systems, is believed to have put a major public affairs account out to pitch. Sources said the pitch process had already kicked off but had yet to progress to the second stage. Nobody at Ericsson was available to comment on the pitch. The firm's handset division had a fresh start in 2001 in the form of a joint venture with Sony.

- Wolfstar, the digital PR agency, is setting up a new online public affairs division. The division will specialise in providing online PR and 'word of mouth marketing' consultancy to campaigning organisations. It will be led by new recruit and Conservative blogger Sam Oakley.

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