The new practice follows a move by Hotwire to broaden out from its existing areas of expertise.
West, who started as managing director of the corporate practice this week, admitted the challenges of launching a new practice as budgets are tightening. However, he said the downturn presents an opportunity, particularly in corporate PR. ‘Companies are going to especially protective of their brands,' he said.
At the moment West is working with existing Hotwire staff but he hopes to bring in experts in branding and broadcast within the next six months.
West was made redundant from Text 100, where he was former executive vice-president of business development (PRWeek, 6 May 2006). He has since founded Friction.tv, which allows users to take part in live online debates.