EDITORIAL: Surely all's fair in love, war and PR?

News that GBC is taking legal action against its former client

Energis for 'poaching' its head of public affairs must come as something

of a surprise to the large number of in-house practitioners who obtained

their current posts by jumping the divide.

The move from agency to in-house role, often at a client company, while

galling for consultancies, has in reality been a tried and tested career

route for many years. A hiatus before a former member of staff joins a

client is best practice, contracts of course must be binding, and

failure to read the small print can be expensive, but the fact that GBC

has decided to follow through at this time is indicative of the

overheating in the current PR marketplace.

It is an employee's market at present, and the threatened economic

downturn, real or imagined, is creating caution among clients.

No doubt Carl Gibson's subsequent review of the Energis account added

salt to the wound but, in the current dog-eat-dog climate, it is

tempting to say that all's fair in love, war and PR. It is not an ideal

scenario but is the resort to lawyers really the best way to attract

future recruits from the short supply of talent? Or is it a palatable

prospect for potential client companies who in reality have grown used

to drawing recruits from agencies?

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