WPP Group, the advertising and marketing company, has reported a 20 per cent increase in half-year profits to 93.8m. In the first half of the year to June, WPP won new business worth 800m, up from 700m in the same period last year. WPP’s public relations and consulting business showed the fastest revenue growth, rising 22.4 per cent and 22.1 per cent, respectively.

CIA Group is understood to be negotiating its first US acquisition. It is in talks with media buying company VSM Media.

Ammirati Puris Lintas North American president Duncan Pollock has resigned. Pollock’s responsibility for strategy and North American operations will be assumed by Ammirati chairman-chief executive creative officer Martin Puris.

Carol Vorderman, presenter of Channel 4’s Countdown series, is to appear in a DRTV campaign for secured loan provider Firstplus Financial. The work has been created by Bristol agency Proctor & Stevenson. Media Solutions will handle media buying.

Guinness is launching a national poster cam-paign for Guinness Draught as part of its Good Things Come To Those Who Wait campaign through Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO. The ads, called ‘Caterpillar’ and ’18 Today’ will appear on nearly 3,000 sites for two weeks.

Daewoo, the South Korean car-to-electronics giant, is looking for an ad agency to run a campaign in the IT consumer press as part of a pre-Christmas marketing push for its PC range.

London International Group has consolidated its 20m global Durex accounts into McCann-Erickson Worldwide. The agency is to produce a global ad campaign for the brand, which is scheduled to launch in next April.

Wedgwood has appointed a panel with consultants from Lewis Moberly, Global Partners and Naomi Gornick Associates to advise it on its strategic design strategy.

BDG McColl, the retail design company, has bought the Principals Group, which specialises in brand development in the leisure sector.

The Lowe Group has become the majority shareholder in a digital and information technology consultancy called Decipher.

Hewlett-Packard is in talks with the International Olympic Committee about sponsoring the Games following IBM’s decision to withdraw as sole technology sponsor.

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