Melbourne: Beachwear brand Speedo has reportedly cut ties with Lara Bingle and signed former Miss Universe Rachael Finch as its new face.
Bingle`s 250,000-dollar-a-year contract with the swimwear label has been jeopardized 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, IMG World, yesterday confirmed their client’s relationship with Speedo.
The beauty pageant contestant, who is a year younger than Bingle at 22, and competed on this year’s Dancing With The Stars, is a keen water skier and no stranger to bikini modelling after last year appearing in a major advertising spread for luxury swimwear label Jets, by Jessika Allen.
Insiders yesterday maintained Finch fitted the Speedo brief "perfectly" because of her down-to-earth, summery nature.
"They wanted someone more wholesome and not so entwined in saga," a daily quoted a source as saying.
However, Bingle`s manager, Titus Day, reiterated that Bingle remained on the books at Speedo.
"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."
When contacted yesterday, Speedo marketing manager Tiffany Scott said she was "not in a position to comment" on the brand’s relationship with either Finch or Bingle.