Rawlings wins Interflora account for restructure

Interflora has drafted in London and Yorkshire-based Rawlings Financial as the 81-year-old company tests plans to abandon its mutual structure.

Rawlings chairman John Rawlings is running the account, a final budget for which is yet to be agreed.

Rawlings reports to Interflora chief executive Steve Richards, marketing director Michael Barringer and PR manager Phil Carey.

Carey said Rawlings would handle comms with the 1,850 florists that make up Interflora’s business.

Around 60 dates are planned for a summer roadshow to explain the various options being considered, which its florist members will vote on in the autumn.

Interflora announced last week that it was considering alternatives to its mutual structure, one of which could involve taking the company private with venture capital backing.

A 1997 attempt to change the structure of Interflora saw a membership rebellion that ousted the company’s board of directors. Carey said that part of the reason for bringing in PR support was to make sure that the company did not repeat its previous mistakes.

‘Part of the problem in 1997 was poor communication so we wanted to make sure that we got it right this time,’ he said.

Last December, a Londis shopkeeper rebellion forced management to reconsider plans to sell the business (PRWeek, 16 January).

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