Marks & Spencer hands City PR brief to RLM Finsbury

Marks & Spencer has selected RLM Finsbury to handle its financial PR, PRWeek can reveal.

Marks & Spencer: Hires RLM Finsbury for City PR
Marks & Spencer: Hires RLM Finsbury for City PR

M&S today confirmed the appointment of Roland Rudd’s City agency, which will begin working with the iconic high street brand this week.

The appointment follows M&S’ split with former eight-year incumbent Tulchan Communications in February.

It is understood that M&S has held discussions with a number of top City names, but that Finsbury was appointed without an official competitive pitch process taking place.

Rudd himself will lead the Finsbury team working on the account, reporting to Dominic Fry, the retailer’s director of comms and investor relations, who joined from Tulchan in 2009.

The news comes days after M&S released a trading update for the first three months of 2013, in which it revealed that strong trading from its food business had offset weakness in clothing sales.

The M&S in-house comms team handled media and investor relations around the trading update.

A number of City sources had previously suggested that RLM Finsbury was likely to be conflicted out of the M&S account due to its work with J Sainsbury.

However, PRWeek understands that M&S did not view supermarket clients as direct conflicts and that Brunswick had been conflicted out of the process due to taking on Debenhams last year, rather than the Tesco brief it also won in 2012.

RLM Finsbury declined to comment and M&S did not comment other than to confirm the appointment.

The review of M&S' financial PR requirements came after the retailer was forced to release its Christmas trading update early after its contents were leaked to the media the evening before its planned announcement in January.

Tulchan founder Andrew Grant said at the time that he had been assured that the review was not linked to the leaked announcement.

The market’s response to last week’s M&S trading update was largely positive, with shares rising four per cent on the back of beating analysts’ expectations.

However, chief executive Marc Bolland, who took the helm from Sir Stuart Rose in mid-2010, has come under increasing pressure to address the retailer’s slide in clothing sales. Some investors, such as Standard Life, have publicly voiced concern over M&S’ slow progress in turning around falling profits.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.