North-east PR firm Robson Brown has handed account director Rob
Smith responsibility for its staff of nine following the resignation
last week of the agency’s three most senior staff.
The company, a subsidiary of the Newcastle-based advertising agency of
the same name, has temporarily shelved plans to expand by opening an
office in Manchester. Smith, who joined the agency in November 1997, had
been in discussions with chairman Stuart Robson and group managing
director Alan Brown about heading the company’s first PR office outside
He will now lead the PR practice until a successor is appointed to
outgoing managing director Alastair Mitchell, or until his position is
turned into an official director’s post.
Clients for the PR agency, which pulled in fees of over pounds 1 million
in 1999, include Newcastle United Football Club, and Bellway Homes .
Mitchell, together with directors Wayne Halton and Ian Watson is on the
verge of announcing the launch of another agency. All three announced
last week that they are to leave Robson Brown and are working their
Mitchell founded Robson Brown’s PR agency - as a limited company
separate from its owning parent - in 1990, while Halton and Watson
joined him three years later. Mitchell has sold his stake back to the
Robson and Brown - the parent company’s founders and key shareholders -
have reassured PR staff that their jobs are not under threat, despite
the defection of the entire PR board.