Clients of FitzGibbon Media raise funds for staff following abrupt closure

Clients of international PR firm FitzGibbon, which was forced to close last month after allegations relating to its founder, have set up a fund for former employees who received no severance pay.

Trevor FitzGibbon: Founder of FitzGibbon Media
Trevor FitzGibbon: Founder of FitzGibbon Media

Set up late last month, the account had received $35,010 (£24,027) in donations from the agency's former clients including UltraViolet, MoveOn, Global Zero and SumOfUs as of noon UK time Monday.

The money raised will go directly to former staff members in the UK and the US to help them pay for overhead costs such as rent, food, student debt, medical and utility bills.

There is an independent four-person advisory panel, including two attorneys, to oversee the management and distribution of the funds. 

Many former employees have opted out to ensure that only those most in need receive the donations.

The agency was closed, with no advance warning, on 17 December. The news of its closure was first reported in The Huffington Post, which revealed that a number of female staff had come forward with complaints against its founder and president, Trevor FitzGibbon.

FitzGibbon Media had offices in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco and London, and worked for some of the biggest progressive organisations including Amnesty International, WikiLeaks and The Guardian. 

Shortly after its closure, a former employee told PRWeek: "It’s ironic that we are supposed to be fighting on behalf of these issues, it’s a poor show. The way it has been handled is uncool, our emails were cut off immediately and there has been no severance pay for anyone. It sucks that people are out of a job just before Christmas."

The account will close on Wednesday (13 January). 

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