F-H loses Nortel work and sheds UK staff

Fleishman-Hillard has confirmed it will make a round of

redundancies throughout its UK offices as the agency loses a major

global account.



It is understood the decision on 5 November by telecoms giant Nortel

Networks to suspend all work with F-H in the UK, Europe and Asia, was a

contributing factor.



F-H managing director Paul Blackburn confirmed the firm will slash

positions across its UK workforce of 76.



Sources close to the firm claim the number of redundancies could be

between ten and 35 per cent.



Blackburn said: 'One of our key clients has asked Fleishman-Hillard to

suspend all European activity with immediate effect - we understand this

is due to financial pressures and is no reflection of the work we have

delivered for the past two years.



'This development and the current economic uncertainty has resulted in

the regrettable decision that we anticipate we will be making certain

positions redundant,' he added.



Nortel will continue to use F-H for product-related PR in North

America.



'We are reviewing our work with F-H and holding talks on a global level

on what their role within Nortel Networks will be,' said Nortel

spokesman Ben Atherton.



It is understood Nortel made the decision to suspend the F-H account as

a cost-cutting measure.



Last month the telecoms firm announced it was halving its worldwide

workforce from 93,000 at the beginning of the year to 45,000.



Atherton declined to comment on whether PR would instead be handled

in-house, but confirmed no pitch is planned to replace F-H.



Earlier last month, F-H also lost its six-figure UK PR business with

computer firm Dell, losing out to August.One Communications (PRWeek, 5

October).



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