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Wikipedia turned off its lights on Wednesday, taking part in a web-blackout against the proposed US anti-piracy legislation. Google also jumped on board with the protest yesterday and censored its logo for US users. And earlier in the week, Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to attack the White House for its online piracy stance. Also this week, Yahoo co-founder and former chief executive Jerry Yang hung up his gloves for good, cutting all ties with the beleaguered internet giant.

Google, Amazon and Marks & Spencer have been rated the top three brands by UK consumers for the second year in a row, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex league table.

Advertising firm Strikead has appointed Tim Finn to lead its EMEA business.

Palladium director of business development Gayatri Ruia has revealed plans to expand the hybrid luxury mall to new markets in an interview with Indian luxury magazine BlackBook.

Pernod Ricard UK has promoted Patrick Venning to the role of marketing director – spirits.

Angela Wilkinson, managing director of sales house Media Sales Network, is to join Bauer Radio as head of agency sales for its Manchester office in March, following her company’s loss of the regional sales contract for Bauer’s magazines.

MPG Media Contacts has promoted Amy Kean to the position of head of consumer innovation, as part of an ongoing restructure at the Havas agency.

Young’s is launching a comical TV ad featuring Jamie Oliver trying to cook in the Arctic, to promote his new frozen-fish range.

Bray Leino, the Mission Marketing Group-owned full service agency, has appointed former Delaney Lund Knox Warren creative director Jon Elsom as its executive creative director, replacing Steve Hall.

SWISS RE

Swiss Re has picked internal veteran Michel Lies as its new chief executive, giving the group more stability after the surprise announcement at the end of last year that Chief Stefan Lippe would take early retirement.

ARBUTHNOT BANKING GROUP PLC

Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC named James Fleming as chief executive at Arbuthnot Latham & Co. He will be joining the Arbuthnot Latham & Co board from Mar. 1. Fleming joins from Coutts & Co.

SIGNIA WEALTH LTD

Signia Wealth Limited named Chris Godding as co-CIO and Managing Director. Godding joins from Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management International.

THE ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND

The Royal Bank of Scotland named Madan Menon as the head of international banking, Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. Earlier, he was the country executive of RBS Singapore.

ORIEL SECURITIES

British stockbroker Oriel Securities has hired three new bankers from former rival Evolution following Evolution’s takeover by South Africa’s Investec as Oriel continues its push to strengthen its equity research department.

HAWKPOINT PARTNERS

Corporate finance advisory firm Hawkpoint has hired a prominent former Lazard merger and acquisitions banker, Peter Kiernan, known for helping to engineer U.S. food group Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury.

ACTIS

Private Equity firm Actis promoted directors David Grylls, Nick Luckock and Natalie Kolbe to partners.

LADENBURG THALMANN FINANCIAL SERVICES

The financial services firm named John Miles and Alexander Bonello as managing directors of institutional sales and trading at its broker-dealer subsidiary, Ladenburg Thalmann & Co Inc.

It also named Michael Marino as managing director of institutional options sales and trading, Christopher Calabrese as managing director of institutional sales, and Daniel Munro as a vice president of trading effective immediately.

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