Martin to head up communications for grocery group

WASHINGTON: The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), an industry group, has hired Richard Martin as its new VP of communications.

WASHINGTON: The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), an industry group, has hired Richard Martin as its new VP of communications.

Martin had been running his own communications consulting business after a five-year stint in the dot-com world in San Francisco, where he helped found Kids Online America and served as its chief marketing officer.

Earlier in his career, Martin had handled media relations with United Airlines and worked for Edelman in Chicago and Burson-Marsteller in Washington. He also was a deputy press secretary during campaigns for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and he worked for former president Bill Clinton.

"The consumer packaged- goods and food industries are under increased scrutiny and, some might say, attack from different fronts," Martin said. GMA's PR job is to "let people know we are aware of issues.

If consumers demand lower-calorie, healthier products, our industry responds."

Martin, who began his new job in late October, is formulating PR plans for 2004. The GMA's recently launched initiatives in the obesity and nutrition areas will continue, he said.

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