Walters urges MS&L to aim for 'top ten'

Manning Selvage & Lee's London CEO issues battle cry ahead of departure from the role early next year.

Nicholas Walters, the out­going CEO of Manning Selvage & Lee, this week urged his replacement to ‘focus on public affairs and becoming a top-ten agency'.

Walters, who is to step down from his role early next year (see Related Article) said: ‘We have doubled our size in the past four years [since he took his post], but the agency has an opportun­ity now to become a top-ten player.'

MS&L was ranked 17th in PRWeek's latest Top 150 Consultancies report (PRWeek, 21 April). Fee income for 2005 for the Publicis Groupe agency - which has around 80 staff in its West Kensington offices - was estimated to be £9.45m.

But one ex-staffer, who declines to be named, accu­ses the agency of ‘punching under its weight'. And there has certainly been staff turbulence in more than one division of late. This year alone its 14-strong healthcare team (down from 26 only last year) has had three different heads. Peter Carr currently holds the post after joining MS&L last month (PRWeek, 3 Nov).

Equally, the technology team has seen changes, with Justin Hayward joining from Ogilvy PR Worldwide to become head of tech­nology and telecoms in June (PRWeek, 16 June). More recently it emerged that director Dave Bennett is heading for the exit - with the Xbox account he leads rumoured likely to follow (PRWeek, 27 October).

Former MS&L chief executive Jackie Elliot, who left in 2001, said the agency must now focus on holding onto valued staff.

‘I knew it as a company that was extremely hard to leave - in recent months the reverse seems to have become true,' she said. ‘A new leader with a big vision is required to help the London office take its proper place in the Publicis empire.'

Walters insisted his tenure has been largely successful, citing a ‘resurgence' in the tech and health practices during his four-year reign.

MS&L: LONDON MANAGEMENT

CEO until early 2007;
Nicholas WALTERS

DIVISIONAL DIRECTORS

Consumer;
Kelly WALSH
Corporate; Kate STEELE

GROUP HEADS

Healthcare;
Peter CARR
Tech and telecoms; Justin HAYWARD
Financial services; Duncan HART
Food and drink; Bronwen ANDREWS
Consumer electronics; appointed but not announced
New-business development director; Aysen YILMAZ
Finance director; Tim MORLEY
Planning director; Natalie GODFREY

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

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home and will reconvene tomorrow morning for a seventh day of deliberations.

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.