Max Clifford hopes agency will endure despite guilty verdicts

Publicity and PR veteran Max Clifford, who was today convicted of eight counts of indecent assault, believes his eight staff will keep Max Clifford Associates going despite the likely loss of his personal clients such as Simon Cowell.

Max Clifford: guilty of indecent assault
Max Clifford: guilty of indecent assault

Speaking earlier this month, Clifford conceded a conviction would mean that "at least a couple of clients will no longer be clients because [they are assisted] by me hands-on".
 
While he declined to comment on whether this group included Cowell, he separately said that the X Factor supremo’s personal PR was entirely handled by him.

Clifford, speaking before the jury started the two weeks of deliberations that led to today's verdicts, was optimistic about the future of the business he founded at the beginning of the 1970s.
 
He said the agency was "self-contained" enough to continue without him as another four or five clients are handled by his staff with only a small contribution from him.
 
These include Boux Avenue, the lingerie brand owned by Dragons' Den businessman Theo Paphitis, the Miss World Organisation and Dave Fishwick, around whom Channel 4’s ‘Bank of Dave’ show is built.
 
The all-female group of eight staff, who include his daughter Louise, had been taking on more responsibility from him long before his arrest, he claimed.
 
"Don’t forget I’m 71 years old. Over the past few years I’ve been doing less and less and they’ve been doing more and more. I was in the office for five days a week for many, many years. But for the past five years I’ve been in once a week and away two or three months a year at least."
 
Talking frankly about the damage the allegations had done to his business since his arrest in December 2012, he admitted revenues had dropped by half after around five clients – whom he declined to name – left the agency.
 
Max Clifford Associates is owned by mainly by him. His daughter Louise has the only other shareholding, though he has control of 100 per cent of the voting shares.
 
The agency is still profitable, he claimed, and its rental costs have just been cut by two-thirds by moving its offices from central London to Weybridge in Surrey.
 
He stressed that leaving the premises off Brook Street last month had been long in the offing and was due to the inconvenience of extended building work rather than the revenue fall.
 
"All of my staff with one exception live in Surrey, so, having been in the West End for 52 years it’s quite nice to come out," he added. "It’s beneficial to every one of my staff. We haven’t lost one person, there’s still nine of us."
 
Published finances for Max Clifford Associates reveal little as its relatively small size exempts it from the obligation to state revenues and profits.
 
Clifford himself says its revenues have always been less than £5m per year.
 
"We could have [made more] if I’d wanted to expand, if I wanted to build an empire, but I never have. I like a small personal business, very much hands on, with me in the centre of it.
 
"Most of the people generally I’ve known [who] have built up big PR organisations become accountants whereas the creative side of it has always been to me the buzz – creating things, promotion and protection, et cetera."

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