Marks & Spencer severs ties with Finsbury and hires Grayling amid major PR shake-up

Marks & Spencer is ending its relationship with Finsbury and has hired Grayling for consumer PR in the UK, amid a move to a "new way of working" for its in-house team.

The M&S store in Charlton
The M&S store in Charlton

WPP-owned Finsbury, which handled the M&S corporate and City account for the last four years, will be the last agency to do such work with the retailer, a spokeswoman told PRWeek.

Read next: Grayling boss: We've 'liberated' ourselves from several 'exploitative' clients

"We are moving to a new way of working from the beginning of April and will no longer be working with a full-service city PR agency," said the spokeswoman, who confirmed that much of Finsbury's duties would now be handled by the company's in-house PR team.

"We will bolster our roster of independent external advisors to support the team," the spokeswoman added, though declined to give further details.

A spokeswoman for Finsbury echoed the retailer's comments, but declined to comment further. 

M&S's comms shake-up began in earnest in December when the retailer announced it had ended its five-year relationship with consumer agency Unity.

Following an RFP for a new PR brief, Grayling, and its consumer and tech division Atomic, won the business.

M&S also continues to work with WH PR in the Republic of Ireland and ASG PR in Northern Ireland, the company's spokeswoman said.

In November, M&S announced it would close 30 stores in the UK and convert 45 more into food-only shops, while also shutting 53 outlets internationally, amid falling profits. The plan is expected to cost £150m over three years.

Click here to subscribe to PRWeek – you'll get essential breaking news, views & expert analysis; an exclusive UK Daily News email bulletin; industry-leading reports such as the Power Book, Global Agency Business Report, Best Campaigns & Best Places to Work; and a whole lot more.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in