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?