LARA BINGLE TREADS WATER WITH SPEEDO

Lara Bingle has been shelved by her major sponsor, Speedo.

The swimwear label is signing fresh-faced former Miss Universe Australia Rachael Finch as its latest ambassador.

The 23-year-old Bingle's $250,000-a-year contract with the Australian beachwear brand has been jeopardised by the introduction of Finch, who will next week shoot Speedo's summer campaign.

Bingle, who has spent the past two months preparing to star in the campaign -- her third -- is on contract with Speedo until May.

Finch's management agency, IMG World, yesterday confirmed its client's recently struck relationship with Speedo.

Speedo's decision to bring the beauty queen onboard has sparked speculation that Bingle's contract is unlikely to be renewed.

Insiders yesterday maintained that Finch fit the Speedo brief "perfectly" because of her down-to-earth, summery nature.

"They wanted someone more wholesome and not so entwined in saga," one source said.

Bingle's manager, Titus Day, said the model remained on Speedo's books. "Lara has always had a good relationship with Speedo and still has six months to run on her current contract," he said.

"When the time comes we'll look at her options. Until then she remains the face of Speedo."

In August Speedo confirmed Bingle would shoot their summer campaign.

"She's a really beautiful girl and really does embody that outdoors, Australian beach girl. She'll be great for the campaign," Speedo marketing manager Tiffany Scott said at the time.

Speedo marketing manager Tiffany Scott said yesterday she was "not in a position to comment" on either Finch or Bingle.

However, an announcement of Bingle's future is expected to arrive in the coming days.

It is understood Bingle was not aware of Finch's signing.

Source: News.com.au
Date: 3rd December 2010