Edwin Beckett, director of corporate affairs at the world’s biggest
drinks company, IDV, is to retire next month. He will be replaced by
Stephen Whitehead, the company’s director of strategy affairs.
Whitehead will take over Beckett’s external affairs remit at the company
which owns the J&B, Smirnoff, Cinzano and Baileys brands, His internal
responsibilities will pass to John Harben, IDV’s first director of
internal communications who joined earlier this year (PR Week, 1 March).
Whitehead, 33, left his job as director of communications at Glaxo
Wellcome to join IDV as director of social aspects in July last year. He
was promoted to director of strategic affairs in May.
As head of external affairs his role will widen from managing public
policy to take on responsibility for issues like trade and tax.
At the same time the company has signed up lobbying firm APCO Europe to
monitor industry issues in Brussels.
APCO won the contract this week after pitching against three other
firms. Its brief is to monitor a number of EU issues likely to affect
the company including proposals on excise duty and the Green Paper on
Commercial Communications. Claire Boussagol, APCO Europe associate
director, will be heading the account team of consultants from APCO
Europe and APCO UK.
‘Given the importance of the issues at EU level, we felt it opportune to
get closer to the action,’ said Whitehead.