Britvic nets Unilever’s Lewis for top PR post

Soft drinks giant Britvic has poached Unilever Ice Cream and Frozen Food comms director David Lewis to take the newly created post of corporate affairs director ahead of an expected stock market flotation.

Lewis joins next month to oversee a ten-strong PR team and will report to category director Andrew Marsden. The company has been linked to a £700m flotation for as early as this autumn.

As well as handling publicity around a potential listing, Lewis will be charged with communicating Britvic’s stance on healthy eating and advertising to children.

Labour MP Debra Shipley has criticised its Robinson’s Fruit Shoot drink for encouraging excessive consumption through a campaign that offered instant- win prizes.

Lewis joined Birds Eye Walls in 2002 before the division was renamed Unilever Ice Cream and Frozen Food. He currently reports to the division’s chairman James Hill.

He was previously head of comms at British Aerospace for seven years and prior to that had a lengthy spell as corporate affairs manager at the Meat and Livestock Commission, where he handled the fallout from the initial BSE crisis in 1989.

Lewis’s PR career followed a ten-year stint in journalism at magazine publisher Emap and The Sun.

A Britvic spokeswoman confirmed his appointment.

Britvic’s major brands include Tango, 7Up and J20, as well as so-called functional soft drinks such as Red Devil, Amé, Purdey’s and Aqua Libra.

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