Agency grandees in 'no cure, no pay' bid

Adrian Wheeler and Christopher Broadbent - two well-known senior figures in the agency world - are to launch a corporate consultancy based on an unusual ‘no cure, no pay' model.

Wheeler, former GCI Europe chairman and UK CEO, and Broadbent, founder of agencies including Barclay Stratton and Ansdell Group, will launch Agincourt Communications on 1 July.

They describe the agency as aiming at ‘the "special situations" PR market', saying they will ‘set out to solve business problems where reputation issues inhibit growth.'

Examples the duo cite of situations they believe they can help with include when a firm cannot get planning permission, when it is losing key staff to competitors, when it is failing to attract top-quality graduates, when it is embroiled in ‘political difficulties' or when it is ‘targeted by' the media or NGOs.

The long-standing friends will ‘assess the reputational element in these and other business problems and solve them quickly'. They will work with independent experts in research, analysis, economics and business comms.

As to the ‘no cure, no pay' model, Broadbent said: ‘We won't take on challenges we think are irrational: we will probably walk away [from potential work] as often as we say "yes". If we don't think we can solve something we simply won't take it on.'

The pair do not plan to open an office, but are likely to base themselves in the firms with which they work. They will launch with a ‘clean slate', client-wise.

Broadbent continues to be a non-executive director of Argyll and non-exec chairman of Brighter Group. Wheeler, who left GCI at the end of last year after 15 years (PRWeek, 2 December 2005), is a non-executive director of Firefly Communications, the London Communications Agency and Gyroscope.

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