MADRID — Rud Pedersen Group has expanded into Spain by taking a 30% stake in government relations and public affairs consultancy RetiEspaña. The 20-strong agency will continue to be led by founder and CEO Alfonso López. RetiEspaña’s offer includes corporate diplomacy, stakeholder analysis, market intelligence, media relations and positioning, as well as strategic communications and government relations advisory, for clients in sectors including finance, tech, agriculture, defence and healthcare.

LONDON — The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) and international news organisation consortium The Trust Project, with the support of The Council of Europe, have pledged to join media outlets in tackling misinformation, after ICCO’s European Forum, held in Strasbourg in June. The Media Information and Education Pledge aims to engage membership bodies representing PR and communications, broadcast media, journalism and online media and consists of 10 commitments that focus on investing resources in the continuous education of employees, clients and audiences on information threats and trusted media sources.

CANNES — Judy Bakieh and Sarah Alsalem (pictured), account managers at Gambit Communications in Dubai, have won this year’s Cannes Young PR Lions competition to find the world’s best young creatives, making them the first in the MENA region to win this category. The team from Australia, Millie Clout and Bella Hayes, won silver, and from Germany, Rowan El-Goweiny and Odile Brefa claimed bronze. This year’s competition brief was supplied by NGO EcoTree, which asked competitors to create a PR strategy that communicates its carbon credits offer. At the global final in Cannes, Bakieh and Alsalem competed against 28 national winners to come up with the winning campaign idea.

LONDON — The PR Network (PRN) has been certified as a B Corporation (B Corp). The virtual agency has been certified by B Lab, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement, as having met rigorous social and environmental standards showing its commitment to goals outside of shareholder profit. PRN co-founder Nicky Regazzoni said: “When George [Blizzard] and I set up the agency in 2005 we wanted to disrupt industry norms by firstly challenging traditional ways of working and secondly delivering services to clients. We believed there was a better way of doing things for the benefit of our team and our customers. Our B Corp certification is proof that we’ve accomplished what we set out to achieve, with scores of 77% for Workers and 90% for Customers. We’re proud to be holding ourselves to account, and part of a community that is working to drive real change.”

LONDON — Allison+Partners has launched its Brandgeist IQ product, a proprietary, AI-powered methodology to measure the real-time cultural relevance of brands, in the UK. It is the first international expansion for the offer since it was launched in the US last September. Brandgeist IQ is being used by consumer brands to give marketing teams the ability to monitor their impact on cultural relevance with a score of how they are performing against five indicators: Plugged into Pop Culture, Disrupting the Norm, Living with Purpose, Always Inclusive, and Modern and On-Trend. To mark the UK launch, Allison+Partners scored 25 brands including Burberry, Dyson and Deliveroo.

DUBAI — Brazen MENA has launched a new branding and positioning, as well as a new proposition: Club Brazen, which will offer clients free additional support including networking events, a training library, market research from leading global intelligence provider Carma, social media analysis from digital engagement agency Socialeyez and monthly insights from the world of communications and business, as well as a networking masterclass from Leanne Foy & Co, a wellbeing guide from nutritionist Georgina Ricks and a people and culture or sustainability consultation from Do The Most.

LONDON — The Lucre Group has rebranded as Gold79, which includes the PR agency and its content arm, Rich. Gold79’s offer for its core client base across the travel, food, and drink, home and lifestyle, technology and professional services sectors has four pillars: content (copy, design and video); search (SEO insights and strategy across site and social); PR (traditional and digital PR, events and link-building); and social (paid and organic, community management, and influencer marketing).

LONDON — Stickybeak, the consumer insights, research and testing platform has launched a low-cost testing product that allows brands and agencies to test creative, messaging, packaging and choice of influencer with consumer interest groups anywhere in the world. The platform already works for organisations such as Dole, Zespri, Ogilvy, Unilever and the WHO. The new comparative testing product – where users scroll and tap multiple choice questions on their mobile –was developed in response to client requests for rapid consumer testing and feedback from marketing and communications teams.

LONDON — Ready10 was named as the PR agency of the year at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Excellence Awards last week. Fanclub PR won small PR consultancy of the year, Battenhall won specialist PR consultancy of the year, solicitors Irwin Mitchell won in-house PR team of the year, Altitude won new PR consultancy of the year. Mischief (MHP Group) and the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board were the big winners of the campaign awards, with three wins each. Cowshed and Taylor Herring were also among the winners.