Lynne Franks PR has lost its estimated pounds 250,000 fee PR account
with supermarket chain Asda. The company told Lynne Franks this week
that its three-and-a-half year relationship will end on 30 June.
The account, believed to be one of the agency’s largest, is tipped to go
to Sundial Communications. But Asda’s new PR manager Christine Watts,
who joined last month, said Sundial’s appointment was ‘not confirmed’,
adding ‘we are still reviewing our options.’
Four full time staff worked on the Asda business at Lynne Franks,
handling a budget of around pounds 500,000 in early 1995.
The agency’s responsibilities have, however, since been eroded. The
supermarket handed its wine business to the restaurant PR Alan Crompton-
Batt in April last year. The estimated pounds 50,000 account for George,
Asda’s clothing label was also siphoned off in November to fashion PR
specialist Lee & Knight.
Sundial, set up by ex-Good Relations associate directors Nicola Hyde and
Jane Park last July has been working on a project for Asda’s ‘computers
for schools’ initiative since February. Hyde admitted the agency is
involved in discussions with the supermarket ‘over a number of things’
but refused to say if it had picked up the larger contract.
Lynne Franks faxed a statement to PR Week stating it had ‘made a major
contribution to the store’s high media profile...achieved week-in, week-
out coverage in the national tabloids and met every media target set by
In the statement Lynne Franks managing director Samantha Royston
comments: ‘Despite the quality of our work, the departure of both the
marketing director and PR director within six months led us to expect
changes in Asda’s approach to communications.’
Asda is thought to have been considering a change for a number of months
and is known to have had discussions with at least two other generalist
consumer PR agencies.
Asda’s consumer PR manager Jeni Cropper told PR Week last year: ‘When
you use agencies you are constantly looking at new ideas in the market,
new ways of getting coverage.’