PepsiCo switches agencies in UK
Fleishman Hillard Fishburn loses major public affairs account with food and drink giant.
PepsiCo has dumped Fleishman Hillard Fishburn as its retained UK public affairs agency and handed the business to Headland.
The food and drink giant hired Fleishman Hillard back in 2013, but it has now severed its ties with the agency after last year’s merger with Fishburn Hedges.
PepsiCo is responsible for such household names as Walkers Crisps, Doritos, Tropicana, Copella, 7Up, Quaker Porridge Oats and Pepsi.
The public affairs switch comes as PepsiCo is stepping up its lobbying around public health and sustainability. Opposing the sugar tax remains high on the firm's agenda in Westminster, while drinks firms are also on alert as MPs investigate ways to combat the environmental damaged caused by disposable plastic bottles.
The decision to dump Fleishman Hillard Fishburn is understood to have been taken by PepsiCo's UK head to external affairs Lucy Gilchrist, a former Conservative Party communications adviser and director at Hanover Communications.
The major public affairs account has gone to Headland, which was previously selected as PepsiCo’s retained corporate PR agency in January 2016.
Headland is known as a financial and corporate agency, but recently boosted it public affairs firepower by hiring Tesco head of international government affairs Simon Burton as a partner to focus on its public affairs offering.
Under the new arrangements, which took effect earlier this year, Headland is handling both UK public affairs and corporate PR for PepsiCo. Burton confirmed that Headland had recently been awarded an expended UK public affairs and corporate communications brief with PepsiCo but declined to comment further.