Interplay, the computer games company, has appointed Larry Sparks as its vice-president for marketing, Europe. He leaves Eidos where he was worldwide marketing director and marketed its hit game Tomb Raider, featuring cult character Lara Croft.

WH Smith has confirmed that a bid for Waterstone’s received from the EMI Group has entered the due diligence stage. It is understood that the chain’s founder Tim Waterstone is acting in partnership with EMI.

Woolwich Building Society (right) has agreed to sponsor a new ITV gameshow called Househunters. The series runs for nine weeks and begins this month.

Hilton International is understood to have appointed Western International Media to its 2m media planning and buying account.

Lombard Risk Systems, one of the world’s leading suppliers of trading and risk management software, has appointed Andrew Fraser as its sales and marketing director. The 40-year-old was previously sales director at Wang, where he was responsible for 50m of sales in the network and desktop integration market.

Adobe Systems is looking for a marketing director for Europe to be based at the software company’s European headquarters in Edinburgh.

The money that business put into the arts rose 20 per cent from 80m in 1996 to 96m last year, according to industry body The Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts.

Bacardi-Martini, HP Bulmer, Campbell Distillers and Pernod Ricard have joined the Portman Group, the industry-funded body set up to promote sensible drinking.

Shopkeepers selling cigarettes to children under 16 will be targeted in a hard-hitting TV campaign, funded by local councils and health authorities in the North of England. Ads through Yellow M mimic an undercover illegal drugs bust.

The BBC Rights Agency has appointed Jane Wright to the newly-created post of head of business development and marketing for BBC Films. Her previous post was with BBC Worldwide America where she was vice-president of co-productions and sales.

Design Bridge has been hired to create a new identity for the Dublin-based International Rugby Board.

Sainsbury’s and Tesco have agreed to stock classic FM’s new record label The Full Works. The label will roll out eight new releases later this month.

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