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News and news analysis

Cicero/AMO wins financial services client

Cicero/AMO wins financial services client

Propel Finance, one of Britain’s biggest independent finance houses, has appointed public affairs specialist Cicero/AMO as its retained PR agency.

Pagefield adds clients and senior hires from Edelman, Newgate and more

Pagefield adds clients and senior hires from Edelman, Newgate and more

Pagefield has strengthened its senior team with a raft of hires and announced a fully flexible working model, PRWeek has learned.

Brands caught ‘unaware’ of GB News ads following online backlash

Brands caught ‘unaware’ of GB News ads following online backlash

Advertisers on GB News have begun responding to online pressure for funding GB News, with one promising to boycott the new TV channel.

Post Office hires PR agency for integrated campaign brief

Post Office hires PR agency for integrated campaign brief

The Post Office has appointed Boldspace to launch a major campaign calling on the Government and industry to ‘Save Our Cash’.

GB News: an opportunity for the PR industry or ‘Gammon TV’?

GB News: an opportunity for the PR industry or ‘Gammon TV’?

GB News, the hotly-anticipated new broadcast channel with a right-wing take, launched last night to muted fanfare due to an unfortunate scheduling clash with a first-round match in the European football championships.

Mars turns to Innocent for first UK public affairs director

Mars turns to Innocent for first UK public affairs director

Mars UK has appointed former Innocent Drinks comms chief William Blomefield as its first UK public affairs director.

Award of £500,000 Covid contract to Public First ‘unlawful’, High Court rules

Award of £500,000 Covid contract to Public First ‘unlawful’, High Court rules

The controversial award of an £560,000 contract for COVID-19-related comms and research to political comms agency Public First was unlawful, the High Court has ruled.

‘You are either utterly disingenuous… or turning a blind eye’ – Ingham responds to Parliament statement on passes scandal

‘You are either utterly disingenuous… or turning a blind eye’ – Ingham responds to Parliament statement on passes scandal

A lobbying industry leader has described parliamentary authorities as either “complacent, naïve or utterly disingenuous” amid revelations that parliamentarians are providing inappropriate access to various interest groups.

‘A scandal of decades of undue influence’: MPs and Lords providing ‘inappropriate’ parliamentary access to dozens

‘A scandal of decades of undue influence’: MPs and Lords providing ‘inappropriate’ parliamentary access to dozens

The PRCA is calling for an overhaul of rules governing who receives parliamentary passes after new analysis found the system is open to abuse, with 210 passes handed to charities, think tanks, business groups, trade unions and consultants.

Manchester’s ‘largest ever’ regeneration project hires PR agency

Manchester’s ‘largest ever’ regeneration project hires PR agency

Global investor and developer Far East Consortium (FEC) has appointed Citypress as the lead communications advisor on its £4bn Victoria North project in Manchester.

‘Thousands will die’: Dominic Cummings doubles down on COVID-19 herd immunity claim

‘Thousands will die’: Dominic Cummings doubles down on COVID-19 herd immunity claim

In a hotly anticipated appearance before a parliamentary select committee this morning, Dominic Cummings doubled down on his claim that the Government’s official plan until the middle of March was to achieve herd immunity.

Code of conduct launched to safeguard wellbeing of comms professionals

Code of conduct launched to safeguard wellbeing of comms professionals

Allegory, Cirkle, Smarts and 23red are among the agencies backing a code of conduct, launched today, that is intended to improve the wellbeing of people working in comms and advertising.

Sainsbury's promotes Rebecca Reilly to group corporate affairs director

Sainsbury's promotes Rebecca Reilly to group corporate affairs director

Group head of communications Rebecca Reilly's remit will now include responsibility for public affairs, as long-serving corporate responsibility, sustainability and public affairs lead Judith Batchelar steps down to pursue a new challenge.

BCW appoints in-house public affairs heavyweight as senior adviser

BCW appoints in-house public affairs heavyweight as senior adviser

BCW has hired Caroline Winters as a senior adviser, specialising in public affairs, corporate reputation and issues management.

Labour Party appoints director of strategy to develop core message

Labour Party appoints director of strategy to develop core message

The Labour Party has appointed BritainThinks co-founder Deborah Mattinson as its director of strategy, with a remit to work on its core narrative.

Cavendish announces new leadership as founder steps back

Cavendish announces new leadership as founder steps back

Alex Challoner, founder of Cavendish Advocacy, has stepped down as managing director and been replaced by his long-time colleague Gareth Morgan, the agency has announced.

Edelman UK hires former FCA public affairs lead

Edelman UK hires former FCA public affairs lead

Edelman UK has hired the former head of public affairs at the Financial Conduct Authority, Wes Ball, as a director. He joins the Advocacy and Public Affairs leadership team led by managing director Luciana Berger.

Opinion and features

Father’s Day: I’ve been bringing up two ‘babies’ and there have been plenty of tantrums

Father’s Day: I’ve been bringing up two ‘babies’ and there have been plenty of tantrums

Last year, at 2.29am, I became a dad for the first time, but it was the second time that year I had created something new.

Time is running out to keep the lobbying industry alive

Time is running out to keep the lobbying industry alive

Public affairs firms must take action to attract good people who want to do good work

A link between contracts for agencies and their net zero plans has been made – and it’s here to stay

A link between contracts for agencies and their net zero plans has been made – and it’s here to stay

Any agency leaders who thought they didn’t need to worry about climate action will have had something of a shock last week.

Ghosted, paid late, misrepresented: the client/agency relationship is at its lowest ebb

Ghosted, paid late, misrepresented: the client/agency relationship is at its lowest ebb

There isn’t an agency out there that hasn’t had a rough ride with a client at some point, but post-pandemic (if one can even call this 'post') the tide seems to have turned toward an even tougher stance with agencies.

BT's campaign against hate sees action taken against 'hundreds'

BT's campaign against hate sees action taken against 'hundreds'

'Draw the Line' and 'Hope United' are having an impact, but it is too early to judge how effective the campaign has been at curtailing online abuse. BT's consumer division corporate affairs director, Mat Sears, wants other brands to take up the fight and continue to press social media platforms to do more.

A Pride campaign by a bunch of straight people? Sure, Jan

A Pride campaign by a bunch of straight people? Sure, Jan

I don't want to be 'that guy' complaining about Pride campaigns – I'm in awe of brands that get it right and I don't want to shame anyone into wanting to show support, but…

The BBC must work fast to restore its reputation and stave off privatisation

The BBC must work fast to restore its reputation and stave off privatisation

The BBC’s response to the Martin Bashir scandal has been to announce a “Review of Editorial Policies” and an investigation into the re-hiring of Bashir by the Corporation in 2016.

Defining ‘levelling up’ will be the biggest post-COVID-19 comms challenge for No. 10

Defining ‘levelling up’ will be the biggest post-COVID-19 comms challenge for No. 10

Whether it's been badged as "rebalancing the economy", or as Theresa May's short-lived "industrial strategy", the concept of 'levelling up' has been at the centre of political and economic thinking for years.

Videoconferencing has been a lifeline, not a curse, for the industry – let’s keep it

Videoconferencing has been a lifeline, not a curse, for the industry – let’s keep it

Zoom fatigue has taken its toll over the past 12 months, with the hours spent at screens straining eyes and draining hearts, but, as the world begins to open up, evidence is rapidly amassing that business as usual will look very different in the future.

The tricky internal and corporate comms challenge of jabs for jobs

The tricky internal and corporate comms challenge of jabs for jobs

With light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, we now know we’ll need some kind of COVID-19 ‘vaccine certificate’ to go on a foreign holiday (remember those?), but not to huddle in a wet pub garden with five friends.

Companies should spare the media budget – climate change is an internal comms job

Companies should spare the media budget – climate change is an internal comms job

Do you have agency to act on climate change? I don’t mean do you have an agency to help you act on climate change – that would be a sales pitch too far. I mean: do you have ‘agency’ to act on climate change?

Uncharted waters: how to be a client's first PR or comms agency

Uncharted waters: how to be a client's first PR or comms agency

As a consultancy starting work with a new client, you may or may not rate the client’s previous agency, but at least its work provides a starting point from which to improve, replicate or overhaul – but what happens when the client has never had consultancy support before?

Menopause: the silence from the PR and comms industry is deafening

Menopause: the silence from the PR and comms industry is deafening

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 12 months (which you may have been, due to COVID-19) you can’t have failed to notice a rise in women talking about the menopause.

BAME over: The acronym for ‘minority’ audience grouping is useless

BAME over: The acronym for ‘minority’ audience grouping is useless

Back in March, the UK Government finally said it was ‘BAME over’ for this 'reductionist idea' of an acronym, which is frequently used to group all ethnic minorities together.

Recent public/corporate affairs people moves

Movers & Shakers: Mars, Ogilvy, H+K, Zurich, Portland, Hotwire, Weber Shandwick and more

Movers & Shakers: Mars, Ogilvy, H+K, Zurich, Portland, Hotwire, Weber Shandwick and more

PRWeek's round-up of industry hires, departures and promotions.

H+K appoints corporate affairs managing director

H+K appoints corporate affairs managing director

Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) has hired Lisa Kilmartin as a managing director of corporate affairs and advisory.

Former UEFA comms chief and Platini adviser joins Portland

Former UEFA comms chief and Platini adviser joins Portland

Portland has appointed William Gaillard, former UEFA director of communications and public affairs, as a senior adviser.

Insurance firm Zurich hires head of external comms

Insurance firm Zurich hires head of external comms

Zurich Insurance UK has appointed Tracy Dickerson as head of external communications, one of the two most senior communications roles at the financial services business, PRWeek has learned.

Engine MHP makes senior hires from H+K and Weber and unveils MHP+Mischief Studio content team

Engine MHP makes senior hires from H+K and Weber and unveils MHP+Mischief Studio content team

Engine MHP has hired a head of strategy and head of creative and announced the launch of a 20-person creative content team, called Studio, for the combined MHP+Mischief business.

Movers & Shakers: Sainsbury's, Edelman, M&C Saatchi Talk, BCW, Finsbury Glover Hering and more

Movers & Shakers: Sainsbury's, Edelman, M&C Saatchi Talk, BCW, Finsbury Glover Hering and more

PRWeek's weekly round-up of industry hires, departures and promotions.