LONDON—Chime Communications, parent of the Bell Pottinger Group of public relations consultancies, has posted a 62 percent increase in pre-tax profit for the first half of the year, much of attributed to acquisition of advertising agency VCCP. Profit margins increased from 13.3 percent to 15.5 percent and operating income rose 38 percent to £38.3 million. Excluding the VCCP acquisition, organic growth was about 8.5 percent compared with the first half of 2005. The Bell Pottinger Group saw operating profit increased by 22.5 percent to £4 million.
OTTAWA—Brian Mersereau has been named chairman of Hill & Knowlton Canada. In addition to his ongoing client service responsibilities, Mersereau will assist president and CEO Michael Coates in the overall governance of Hill & Knowlton Canada, and in setting the strategic direction for the company moving forward. Succeeding Mersereau as general manager of Hill & Knowlton’s Ottawa office is Goldy Hyder, who brings over 15 years experience in both the public and private sectors. Since joining Hill & Knowlton in 2001, Hyder has worked on government relations, strategic communications, issues management and media relations programs for clients in the banking, insurance, securities, transportation, and energy sectors.
LONDON—The Department for Communities & Local Government has appointed Blue Rubicon to help raise awareness of Tenancy Deposit Protection, which comes into effect in England and Wales in April 2007. The campaign will focus on raising awareness among 700,000 landlords and 12,000 letting agents who will be legally obliged to make sure tenancy deposits are protected from April 2007 and to educate the 1.4m private tenants who will benefit from the schemes’ protection.
LONDON—Following the acquisition of Boots Healthcare International earlier this year, Reckitt Benckiser has selected Virgo Health PR to promote its analgesic brand Nurofen globally. The appointment marks the first centrally driven PR programme for Nurofen, which was launched OTC in the U.K. in 1985 and is now one of the biggest OTC analgesic brands in the world, available in 90 countries.
ZURICH—The International Capital Market Association has named Allan Malvar as head of corporate communications. He joins ICMA from MTS, the European exchange for government bonds. In his new role, Malvar will assume responsibility for the Association’s global public relations strategy as well as the development and expansion of its worldwide membership, promotion of the association’s capital market technology products and the support of ICMA professional education programmes.