LONDON — UK lab robotics and automation provider Automata has appointed Brands2Life as its communications agency. The firm supports NHS, clinical trial, cancer research and biomedical research institutes across areas including synthetic biology, drug discovery, molecular biology and diagnostics, through to the development of lab grown meat. Brands2Life’s programme will raise awareness of Automata’s platform and its role in helping the life sciences industry to reduce manual workloads and upscale lab capacity, as well as demonstrating Automata’s solutions for the biotech investment community and supporting growth into new markets, via press office, customer storytelling, executive profiling, thought leadership, speaker opportunities and campaign activation.

LONDON — Family-run sausage brand Heck has hired Play as its creative PR agency. The appointment follows the agency’s recent ‘beanchup’ and ‘eggchup’ sauces campaign (pictured) for the brand. Play will lead Heck’s creative PR, working alongside Emma Cantrill and team at Intelligent Profile, which remains Heck’s day to day press office agency. The account will be led by Play founder Rowan Adams and account director Nina Kadhaya.

LONDON — Employee engagement firm Sodexo Engage has appointed Octopus Group as its UK PR agency to support its UK growth plans. Octopus Group will work with Sodexo Engage to shape messages and grow brand awareness among partners, business buyers and end users of its employee benefits and rewards products. Sodexo Engage is part of Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services, which operates in 31 countries.

LONDON — Tea brand Twinings has appointed Splendid Communications as its social agency. Splendid will kick off with an evolved brand identity and a strategy to shift audience perceptions of Twinings through insight-led social content, with imagery and video being created to work across multiple channels including eCRM and display advertising. The content and digital team at Splendid will be working alongside Uncommon Creative Studio, the brand’s UK creative agency.

LONDON — B2B communications agency 3Thinkrs has started its second cross-agency collaborative training programme, the THINKRS & INKRS Academy, which will run 21 free, virtual training modules in Q4 2022, covering brand strategy, messaging, crisis management, client and account management, journalist relations and reporting. The academy features trainers from 3Thinkrs, AxiCom, BCW, Cloudera, EPOS, Fight or Flight, The Flywheelers, King & Co, LICC, Ogilvy, Sdentient, QA, WorkAthlete and Whetstone Communications. The first academy, which ran in Q1 2022, delivered training to 80 individuals from 37 agencies and in-house teams. 3Thinkrs CEO Ruth Jones said: “For too long, agencies have taken a closed approach to training on their own. We believe that free, accessible training, open to all and delivered by a high calibre of trainers from across the industry will broaden the horizon of the next generation of communicators. Magical things happen when you collaborate.”

BELFAST — Mobility provider Sixt UK has appointed Smarts as its retained UK communications agency after a competitive pitch. The agency will manage press office and creative campaigns for Sixt UK, an international provider of mobility services including vehicle and commercial vehicle rental, car sharing, ride hailing and car subscriptions. Smarts will work closely with the global team in Germany.

LONDON — The PHA Group has won two new clients: the agency has been appointed by mobile game controller Backbone to raise awareness beyond the mobile gaming community. Gamers can snap their iPhone into the Backbone One and play mobile, console, or PC games via the App Store or streamed through cloud gaming services, as well as streaming games from PlayStation, Xbox or PC. Backbone has partnerships with Microsoft and Sony and raised $40 million in funding earlier this year. B2B water supplier Everflow, which supplies 70,000 business customers in the UK, has also appointed PHA Group as it expands into commercial waste management, with a remit including press office, growth announcements and customer stories.

LONDON — Mixology has added two new clients to its B2B marketing technology portfolio: global mobile marketing technology provider Upstream, which developed the Grow platform, and lead generation data routing and optimisation platform Convertr. The London-based agency recently underwent a brand refresh and repositioned its offer across the B2B technology, engineering and infrastructure, and ‘tech for good’ sectors. Mixology has been appointed as agency of record for both brands.

LONDON — Integrated communications agency Pier, which specialises in the renewable energy and food and beverage sectors and is based in Suffolk, has re-launched with a raft of changes to its business, including its first offices in London and a new visual identity and website. The agency has also announced it will donate 1% of profits to fighting climate change. To mark the re-launch, the 11-strong agency commissioned a new ice-cream flavour, #Pierweare, consisting of cherry and biscuit ice cream topped with blue Nerds sweets. Pier has also refreshed its benefits package, including a salary sacrifice scheme for electric car leases. The agency’s clients include Del Monte and RWE.

LONDON — PR and communications agency Here Be Dragons has signed two new clients after competitive pitches. The agency is working with five-star hotel Kimpton Fitzroy London, the flagship European location for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, part of the InterContinental Hotel Group, on press office, reviews programme, creative activations, and influencer relations. Here Be Dragons has also won work for The Yards, the shopping, dining and wellness destination in Covent Garden, with a brief including communications strategy, press office, creative activations, events and influencer relations.

LONDON — Vertus Energy, which turns organic waste into renewable natural gas, has chosen Milk & Honey PR to introduce it to the European market. The agency’s remit includes press office, spokesperson profiling, thought leadership positioning, digital optimisation and strategic communications counsel. The Milk & Honey team includes client director Beverley Noble and client manager Lizzie Elkin.

LONDON — The Cardano Group has appointed Instinctif Partners to deliver a corporate reputation and industry communications programme to raise its profile in the UK pensions and long-term savings sector. The multi-brand brief encompasses Cardano, an investment management risk and advisory business with a strong focus on sustainability, and NOW: Pensions. The Instinctif corporate communications brief is to build the profile of both its major UK businesses to support their growth. The account is led by a team of Instinctif’s financial and professional services specialists: Laura O’Connell, chair of UK corporate and campaigns; directors Andy Lane and Nick Corrin; and associate director Matthew Whitbread. They will all report into Emily Cullen, group head of communications for Cardano, and Samantha Gould, head of PR and campaigns for NOW: Pensions.

LONDON — Integrated marketing and communications firm Prosek Partners has launched a crypto and web3 communications and marketing offering. Prosek has been working with clients in crypto and blockchain since 2017, and the new offering has been developed to service companies across the ecosystem. The new offering will be led by Joe Scannell, managing director and head of crypto and web3. Scannell has worked with a number of clients in the sector, including The Algorand Foundation, Crypto Bahamas, NAX Group, Oak HC/FT, SkyBridge Capital and the New York Stock Exchange.

LONDON — Paints, coatings and materials manufacturer PPG Architectural Coatings has appointed Mediaworks to enhance its digital footprint across the UK, including paid search, social media, search engine optimisation, TV, radio, print, cinema, display and out-of-home campaigns. With global headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG operates in more than 75 countries and reported net sales of $16.8 billion in 2021. It serves customers in the construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets, and aftermarkets sectors.

LAGOS — Pan-African communications agency and press release distribution service APO Group has been appointed as the PR agency for the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), which will be held in December this year and cover music acts and genres from across the continent.