College Hill shake-up spurs hunt on the high street

British high-street chains Debenhams and Halfords are hunting for new financial representation following a shake-up at their retained agency College Hill.

Halfords: reviewing agency support
Halfords: reviewing agency support

The two chains are reviewing agency support, apparently after learning that Duncan Murray and Andy Cornelius will leave City agency College Hill.

Murray and Cornelius are founders of now-defunct Gainsborough Communications – the agency formerly used by Debenhams and Halfords. College Hill acquired Gainsborough earlier this year (PRWeek, 3 February).

Bicycles-to-car parts seller Halfords, buoyant from an 8.5 per cent sales rise in the six months to September, is believed to be in the early stages of a pitch. The chain admitted head of PR Barbara Cadd was ‘reviewing options’.

Debenhams head of IR Lisa Williams said a review ‘made sense’ given Andy Cornelius’ dep­arture from agency life. He will handle Debenhams’ preliminary results next week, before leaving College Hill in November.

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