The trade association for the UK pub industry has ditched Politics International and hired start-up public affairs shop Northern Lights Communications.
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers - which has Whitbread's pubs, Enterprise Inns and the Nomura-owned Unique chain as members - hired Northern Lights last week on a brief to advise on the Bass and Interbrew merger, the Government's review of business rate relief for pubs and the forthcoming licensing reforms.
The account is thought to have been held by PI for more than three years.
It was led latterly by director David Massingham, but had earlier been run by consultant Kate Nicholls, who left PI earlier this year and has since established Northern Lights as the vehicle for her own public affairs offering.
Nicholls spent three years at PI, leaving in February as head of consumer and social affairs (PR Week, 14 January). She previously spent three years as European government affairs manager for Whitbread pubs.
Nicholls will report to ALMR's research and systems officer Tim Chapman and chief executive Nick Bish.