The week in lobbying

Virgin Media has appointed Portland to handle its public affairs account, replacing Weber Shandwick. PRWeek revealed Portland was close to landing the account two weeks ago (PRWeek, 27 November).

Nationwide Building Society has selected Fishburn Hedges as its retained public affairs agency. Fishburn takes over from Mandate Communications after a competitive pitch process.

Roche Diagnostics has created a UK board-level position for public affairs, appointing Mark Samuels as director of medical and public affairs for its UK businesses.

Until recently, Samuels was director of business development at Roche.

PepsiCo has hired Sally McCombie as UK and Ireland corporate affairs director. McCombie was public affairs director at rival Coca-Cola Enterprises from 2000 to 2003.

Lloyds Banking Group has hired Dominic Morris to the new role of director of public policy and regulation. Morris joins the banking giant from Digital Britain, where he has been strategic director.

Westminster Advisers has won a three-way pitch to provide public affairs support to Partnership Assurance, the social care insurance provider.

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