'There are worse things': Lansons defends fees after criticism from Times and MP

The co-founder of Lansons Communications has defended the agency's work after criticism of the fees it has been paid by the Pension Protection Fund, including work in the wake of the collapse of BHS.

A piece in The Times this morning said that Lansons, was paid an annual retainer of £194,400 by the fund.

The PPF, which protects millions of people in the UK who belong to pension schemes in case their employer, or former employer, fails to pay their promised pension, took on Lansons at the start of last year. It was the first time it had hired external PR support.

The paper said its freedom of information request had also revealed that since January 2015, Lansons had received a further £249,200 for extra work, much of which related to the collapse of the retailer BHS. It has also worked with the fund during the government consultation on the British Steel pension scheme, the paper said.

The Times story said that the PPF had been "attacked by MPs last night", although it only quotes a single MP in its story – Frank Field, chair of a Select Committee that has scrutinised BHS' collapse and the PPF's role in it – as saying the PPF "does a lot of good work... [but] must be mad spending money like that"

The story also quoted a "rival executive" in the PR industry as saying the fees were "pretty sizeable".

Langham, chief executive of what is the UK's 25th largest agency, said: "I'm really proud of Lansons' work for the Pension Protection Fund this year, when the key issues to be addressed have involved BHS and Philip Green; and Tata and British Steel.

"I guess there are worse things in life than a national newspaper publicising our capabilities."

A PPF statement provided to The Times said: "When major companies like BHS go bust, the position of pension scheme members rightly attracts significant attention... this has meant we and our outsourced PR support have had to deal with unprecedented levels of media interest."

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