Department store chain John Lewis let three-month financial PR incumbent Tulchan go after discovering the agency's recent appointment to rival retailer Debenhams' corporate and City brief (PRWeek, 6 September).
John Lewis head of press and PR Helen Dickinson said: 'We were more than happy working with Tulchan, but sadly we saw too much of a conflict of interest when it took on a financial role with Debenhams.'
Tulchan founder Andrew Grant admits blame for the decision, resulting from confusion over conflict terms and conditions: 'It's my fault and a lesson to us.
'We thought we had an understanding about conflict, but when it came to it, Debenhams were too close for their comfort,' he added.
John Lewis is now embarking on its second financial PR review in less than a year. While Dickinson said the firm was 'in no rush' to appoint a replacement, she confirmed a shortlist was already being drawn up.
'We have an initial shortlist, but we're still open to suggestions,' she said.
Dickinson declined to reveal which agencies were currently on the list, but did not rule out revisiting those included in the previous review.
The successful agency will report to Dickinson and director of communications Paul Burden.