NEWS: Finnegan to leave in the wake of Asda PR revamp

Asda’s PR manager Sue Finnegan is planning to quit at the end of January.

Asda’s PR manager Sue Finnegan is planning to quit at the end of

January.



Finnegan, who lives in London, said that she felt unable to spend so

much time in Leeds - where Asda is based - and added that she is

leaving on ‘very good terms’.



But sources close to the revamped five-strong PR office suggest there

has been a culture clash between the new broom and the old hands.



Asda hired Christine Watts, ex-corporate communications manager at the

now defunct National and Provincial, as its PR head earlier this year

(PR Week, 9 February).



Watt’s deputy at the building society, Phil Reed, followed her toAsda

when Abbey National assumed control and the PR division closed a month

later. The third N&P team member Nick Argawal joined this month.



‘The building society industry and the retail industry are very alien

cultures with very different sets of press and media interests,’ said

one insider. ButReed countered: ‘If there was a culture clash we

wouldn’t have been brought in.’



Finnegan can lay claim to some significant PR coups for Asda over the

last year. Along with former PR head Alan Preece, she helped break the

Net Book Agreement, won an employee share option battle against the

Government, and began the battle against resale price maintenance on

over-the-counter medicines.



When asked about her next position, Finnegan said that she has ‘a few

irons in the fire but nothing confirmed’.



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