agency news

CONNECTICUT

South Hartford Initiative retained the services of Andrea Obston Marketing Communications, Bloomfield, to create and execute its public relations program. Funded by the Department of Economic and Community Development, the South Hartford Initiative is a not-for-profit, community-based organization focused on economic and housing development in South Hartford.

The Kotchen Group, West Hartford, was awarded new public relations assignments from Genealogy.com, an online resource for family history and research based in Freemont, Calif. In addition to print publicity and special events, the campaign will include a radio and TV media tour with experts on genealogy and family reunions. The agency has also been tapped by Krylon, Cleveland, Ohio, for the product launch of Contractor, a new line of job-specific industrial applications available in 22 formulations.

Decker, Glastonbury, will launch a brand identity and marketing campaign for Emplanet, Westborough, a retirement services company that has developed the next generation 401(K) plan. The new campaign, targeting existing and new plan sponsors, will debut in select cities during the fourth quarter, with additional advertising to institutional customers in financial trade publications. The budget for this marketing campaign is estimated at $5 million.

MASSACHUSETTS

Sterling Hager, Watertown, acquired CommCentric Strategies, a firm providing specialized marketing and public relations services for Internet-based companies and developers of Web technologies. Financial terms for combining the two operations were not disclosed. Sterling Hager takes over CommCentric’s Internet technology accounts.

Interactive agency YellowPepper opened its Boston office. The German agency will focus on serving companies in the IT, dot-com and the luxury goods markets.

Business intelligence company Cognos, Burlington, launched an initiative to increase awareness of the Cognos brand and create a bold, new image for the software maker. Targeting senior business executives and line managers, the initiative is intended to triple Cognos’ market awareness with key decision-makers, and aggressively push Cognos into new markets. An advertising campaign with placements in business publications such as The Wall Street Journal will be a creative centerpiece of the initiative.

Lowe Grob Health & Science, Cambridge, announced that it will support the scientific division of STERIS Corp. with market research, strategic communications and an integrated communications program focusing on the company’s leadership in the development of contamination control and microbial reduction products and services. The program will consist of a series of media advertisements and sales materials, and will premier in December or January.

Ruder Finn, Boston, was retained by EasyAsk, a Littleton-based provider of natural language search technology, to develop and manage the company’s public relations activities.

Lois Paul & Partners, Burlington, launched its redesigned Web site at www.loispaul.com. The new site features an expanded Tech PR Intelligence section, providing access to more than 330 high-tech industry resources, and LP&P’s press pass program.

Minelli, Boston, a multidisciplinary strategic communication firm specializing in marketing design and brand development, recently completed the brand development and design of the corporate Web site and online sales tool for Habama, Beverly, an e-commerce business service provider.

BBK Communications, Newton, renamed itself and created two new interacting divisions, BBK Patient Recruitment and BBK Brand Ingenuity. The company as a whole will now be known as BBK Healthcare.

Ciavarra Design, Boston, was tapped to update the marketing communications strategy and brand of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company in Cambridge.