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EMEA News In Brief (June 16, 2014)
Holmes Report
Holmes Report
News and insights from the global PR industry

EMEA News In Brief (June 16, 2014)

Bell Pottinger makes an acquisition; new business for H+K, Focus PR, Curzon PR; new people at Qatar FCA, Bang & Olufsen, iris Culture.

Holmes Report

LONDON—Bell Pottinger has completed the acquisition of Centreground Political Communications, a public affairs firm founded by Darren Murphy, a former advisor to Tony Blair. This is the first acquisition by Bell Pottinger since its management buyout from Chime Communications in June 2012. Murphy will become chairman of Bell Pottinger’s specialist Geopolitical business unit, working with managing director Charles Vivian. Razi Rahman, a founding directors of Centreground, will become managing director of Bell Pottinger’s UK political practice.

LONDON—Hill+Knowlton Strategies has been retained as the communications agency for RenewableUK, a not for profit renewable energy trade association. H+K’s energy and industrials team has worked with RenewableUK to mobilise support for wind power over the last two and a half years, supporting media relations and digital communications projects. The firm will continue to run a media campaign for the wind industry.

DOHA—The Qatar Financial Centre Authority has appointed Yousef Fakhroo as director of marketing and corporate communications. Previously, Fakhroo was global communications manager at Qatar Petroleum International. He has also held senior marketing and communications positions at RasGasand Vodafone Qatar, and Qatar Foundation.

LONDON—Danish luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen has added Amy Stevens to lead public relations activity in the UK. Stevens, previously a senior consultant at Davies Murphy Group agency Lewis PR, joins Bang & Olufsen with more than six years of lifestyle and technology PR experience. Stevens will report to Jan Helleskov, head of global PR and corporate communications. Prior to her role at DMG, she worked at Berkeley PR.

LONDON—Focus PR has been appointed by Martin Miller’s Gin to handle its UK communications campaign and experiential activity support. Having won a five -way pitch, Focus PR is tasked with running a UK media relations programme, bringing to life the campaign theme “Romance and adventure in a glass,” and promoting the super-premium, independently-owned British gin brand. The firm will also support design, build and content creation for a number of leading food, music and mixed arts festivals.

LONDON—iris Culture, the PR and experiential arm of the creative network iris, has recruited Ben Gotto Smith to the new role of managing partner. A former planner with Saatchi & Saatchi’s European network, Gotto Smith worked at Australia’s Shoreditch and Splendid Communications before spending two years heading up the communications team at Exposure Europe. He has most recently been consulting with clients in Australia including McDonald’s, Jenny Craig, and Body & Soul Indonesia.

LONDON—Hill+Knowlton Strategies has appointed Claire Holden to the newly created position of creative director. Holden is the first internal appointment to H+K’s new Centre of Creative Excellence and will work alongside Richard Millar, global chair creative strategy, and Simon Shaw, chief creative officer to develop H+K London’s creative offer. Holden, who joined H+K in 2002, will also continue to lead the adidas and LG accounts.

LONDON—Curzon PR has been signed by heist, which positions itself as “London’s first anti-gallery” showcasing fine art photography from around the world. Curzon will support with a strategic media relations campaign as it launches its Notting Hill space. 

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