PR21 closes down London office amid losses in '03

LONDON: PR21, the consumer arm of the Edelman group, has closed its ailing London operation after a year of lost business and senior-level defections.

LONDON: PR21, the consumer arm of the Edelman group, has closed its ailing London operation after a year of lost business and senior-level defections.

In a statement issued to PRWeek's UK edition, PR21 president and CEO Jerry Epstein said that PR21 UK had "now eroded to an unacceptable level" and that all London operations had been suspended.

"Worse than not keeping pace, the London operation has diminished to the point where there is no other real option," he said. "Over the course of the last couple of years, the management team was unable to even sustain what was a thriving operation."

Epstein and PR21 UK did not say what would become of the remaining six-person team, led by director Kevin Redfern.

Epstein also added that PR21 would concentrate on its US operations and would re-enter the European market when "market conditions allow."

The PR21 UK closure marks the end of a turbulent two-year period in which the company has hemorrhaged key clients, such as Speedo and Conduit, and lost its European CEO, Beverley Kaye.

PR21 entered the UK market through the acquisition of Rowland Communications in 2000, inheriting a large amount of blue-chip clients in the process. Following a review of the company's finances last year, a merger of PR21 UK into Edelman's consumer operation was discussed with Kaye.

However, when Kaye resigned from the company in September of last year, Epstein confirmed that the operation had been scaled down, and that directors Jonathan Hopkins and Neil Honor had accepted voluntary redundancy.

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