Former editor-in-chief at The Independent Simon Kelner is to lead the PR operation of advertising agency Beattie McGuiness Bungay (BMB).
Kelner will be chief executive of Seven Dials, which will offer reputation management at chief executive level, day-to-day PR coverage and support with clients' own-branded publications.
Sharing BMB's offices in Covent Garden, the agency has appointed former director at Freud Communications Eleanor Conroy as business director and former deputy editor of The Observer Jocelyn Targett as creative director. The advisory board includes former comms secretary at Buckingham Palace Simon Walker and former editor at The Times Charles Wilson. BMB co-founder Andrew McGuinness will serve as Seven Dials' chairman. Both McGuiness and fellow BMB co-founder Trevor Beattie previously worked with Kelner when their agency held The Independent’s ad account.
The agency's clients include Fortnum & Mason, Aberdeen Asset Management and drinks brand 31Dover.com.
Kelner stepped down as editor-in-chief of The Independent in 2011 after 13 years.