FDF ditches agency and boss as TV ad rules arrive

The Food and Drink Federation has parted company with its public affairs agency and head in the week that the Government finally introduced new rules restricting the TV advertising of food to children.

The £66bn industry body has stopped using Bell Pottinger Public Affairs - paving the way for a new agency to come on board. It has also parted company with its public affairs manager of three months, Miranda Kirschel. She has taken a job as UK comms director at engineering and construction firm CH2M Hill.

Media and parliamentary relations manager Christine Welberry said: ‘We are in the process of recruiting a new public affairs manager and we have taken all our public affairs work in-house.' She declined to reveal whether the FDF would bring in a new public affairs agency.

Bell Pottinger was brought in last year (PRWeek, 9 March 2006) to highlight the industry's progress in vending, labelling, and advertising to children.

The FDF has led the food industry's defence against criticisms by Government, media and pressure groups over causes of obesity. Together with ad trade bodies, the Advertising Association and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, it ultimately lost the battle against ad restrictions.

The FDF continues to lobby against any mandatory labelling system, particularly the controversial ‘traffic-label' system.

Kirschel was formerly corporate affairs manager at the Nuclear Industry ­Association.

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