The B2B Consultancy in crisis talks with clients

Surrey-based agency The B2B Consultancy was this week fighting to hold on to a string of high-profile clients after its parent went into administration.

Jamie Bryant, MD of the agency – which rebranded last year (PRWeek, 29 Nov 2006) – confirmed in a statement that its parent firm, B2B Communications, ‘went into administration’.

He said: ‘Regrettably at the end of 2006, several of our clients reduced their budgets and one major client, which accounted for 30 per cent of our income, reduced significantly, resulting in an unsustainable loss of income. We were advised to go into administration.’

Bryant confirmed that Vantis is the administrator.

The statement added that The B2B Consultancy would continue to operate under a new parent company called Zoo Communications.

The agency has recently advised companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Haribo and drinks-giant InBev.

GSK said it had recently parted company with the agency. A spokeswoman for the company said it had handed its trade PR account for Lucozade, Ribena and Horlicks to Blue Rubicon – which already works with GSK on consumer PR –             following a four-way pitch.

Meanwhile, sweets brand Haribo is to hold talks with The B2B Consultancy during the next week. Marketing manager Annabel Waite said: ‘We are looking at all the options.’

Other clients have stood by the agency. A spokesman for InBev – which is behind Stella Artois, Castlemaine XXXX and Boddingtons – said: ‘We will continue to use B2B for trade PR. There’s no intention to review.’

The Meat and Livestock Commission said it would continue to use B2B for trade PR. Other clients include General Mills – the firm behind Haagen-Dazs ice cream – and Beverage Brands, which is res­ponsible for WKD. Neither firm was available for comment.

B2B restructured its management last year following the departure of joint MD John Hay (PRWeek, 29 Nov­ember 2006).

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