Marks & Spencer severs ties with Finsbury and hires Grayling amid major PR shake-up

Marks & Spencer is ending its relationship with Finsbury and has hired Grayling for consumer PR in the UK, amid a move to a "new way of working" for its in-house team.

The M&S store in Charlton
The M&S store in Charlton

WPP-owned Finsbury, which handled the M&S corporate and City account for the last four years, will be the last agency to do such work with the retailer, a spokeswoman told PRWeek.


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"We are moving to a new way of working from the beginning of April and will no longer be working with a full-service city PR agency," said the spokeswoman, who confirmed that much of Finsbury's duties would now be handled by the company's in-house PR team.

"We will bolster our roster of independent external advisors to support the team," the spokeswoman added, though declined to give further details.

A spokeswoman for Finsbury echoed the retailer's comments, but declined to comment further. 

M&S's comms shake-up began in earnest in December when the retailer announced it had ended its five-year relationship with consumer agency Unity.

Following an RFP for a new PR brief, Grayling, and its consumer and tech division Atomic, won the business.

M&S also continues to work with WH PR in the Republic of Ireland and ASG PR in Northern Ireland, the company's spokeswoman said.

In November, M&S announced it would close 30 stores in the UK and convert 45 more into food-only shops, while also shutting 53 outlets internationally, amid falling profits. The plan is expected to cost £150m over three years.


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