John to exit Upstream for PepsiCo UK lobbying role

Steve John, managing director of government affairs agency Upstream, is quitting to become PepsiCo's top lobbyist in the UK. He joins the soft drink and snack food giant as it tries to discourage the Government from imposing a ban on advertising junk food to children and steps up its bid to be seen as a responsible company.

John takes up the post in November as director of government relations for the UK & Ireland. He will report to PepsiCo UK & Ireland president Martin Glenn. He takes on the UK remit of Stephen Kehoe's role as VP government affairs, Europe, enabling Kehoe to concentrate on the company's other territories and on regulation emanating from Brussels.

Kehoe, who joined the company at the beginning of last year from APCO UK, where he was MD, said: 'The UK is our biggest and strongest market and requires someone to tackle public affairs full-time'. He added it continues to use Edelman for PA support in the UK.

Last autumn's Public Health white paper warned of a pre-watershed ban on junk food advertising if the industry cannot show by 2007 that it has reduced its use of cartoon characters and celebrities to woo children.

PepsiCo's brands include Walkers Crisps, Tropicana and Pepsi Cola.

John's role at Upstream will be filled by deputy MD Suzy Awford while Peter Digger is to be promoted from senior director to deputy MD. Upstream chairman Tim Clement-Jones said: 'We hope we will work together (with John) in his new incarnation'. He added it is planning to open an office in Beijing.

John joined DLA Upstream, as it was previously known, four and a half years ago and has been MD for the past three years. Prior to that he was an associate director at planning lobbyist PPS.

The agency rebranded as Upstream in January following parent law firm DLA's merger with US law firm Piper Rudnick.

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