In brief: Apple names comms chief

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In other news: Spikes Asia 2015 opens registration ... Helzberg Diamonds polishes social ... Malaysia cracks down on social channels.

From the Campaign family:

Apple names Dowling head of comms. (PRWeek) Apple appointed Steve Dowling VP of communications this week, dropping the "interim" from his title and making him the official replacement for Katie Cotton, who left the company last year. Dowling, who became interim PR head in October, was promoted on Thursday, according to a source familiar with the matter. He succeeded Cotton, an 18-year Apple veteran and VP of worldwide corporate communications, who stepped down from the role in May 2014.

Spikes Asia open for registration. (Campaign India) Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity 2015 is now open for delegate registrations. The event will be hosted from Sept. 9-11 in Singapore.

Helzberg Diamonds engages with social media. (Direct Marketing News) This year marks the jewelry retailer's 100th anniversary. With some strategic planning from digital marketing firm DEG, marketers at the jewelry retailer set out to create a personal campaign that honored the company's centennial, while at the same time cast the spotlight on the personal story of a loving couple. Through social media, Helzberg Diamonds located a couple willing to make the ultimate wedding proposal at the Brooklyn Nets game in the Barclays Center. On March 20, Helzberg Diamonds broadcast a personal wedding proposal, on the Jumbotron and through social media with hashtag #NationalProposalDay.

Malaysia's tighter sedition laws may squeeze social media giants. (Campaign Asia-Pacific) In a move The Economist has described as "thuggish," the Malaysian government in the past month strong-armed a series of bills through that greatly impede the right to free speech for the country's citizens and seems to hold websites liable for social-media posts. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Twitter have declined to discuss the subject, but Campaign Asia-Pacific discusses the implications with Malaysian lawyer and Digital News Asia (DNA) columnist Foong Cheng Leong.

People moves:

Flamingo has appointed Emma Gage, co-MD of Flamingo Singapore for the past three years, as CEO of its New York office.

OMD has appointed Stephen Li to lead the Asia Pacific region as its CEO. Li will replace Steve Blakeman, OMD’s current regional CEO who will be relocating to OMD in London in a senior, global role.

Havas Worldwide India has announced that Nima Namchu will be chief creative officer. Namchu is currently serving his notice period at Cheil Worldwide.

Beacon/Leo Burnett has hired John Stampfel, who was most recently in a leadership role at online retailer Gilt, as its digital and media director in Tokyo.Stampfel’s hire follows two senior strategy departures last year. The agency’s former digital business and strategy director, Ryuji Mitsuishi Banderas, left to join Google in August. Executive business and strategy director Antony Cundy left in July to lead Wunderman Tokyo.

Starcom MediaVest Group has appointed Adam Hancox to the role of programmatic associate director.

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