Investment group Clerical Medical has ended its six year relationship
with Biss Lancaster and moved its public relations in-house.
The move follows Halifax Building Society’s pounds 800 million takeover
of Clerical Medical, which received shareholder approval in June.
Subject to High Court approval, the deal should be finalised in October.
Clerical Medical’s PR manager Tony Bloomer admitted that Biss
Lancaster’s contract had been terminated partly as a way of cutting
costs after the Halifax takeover.
‘Every company in this sector is looking to cut costs and deliver good
service,’ he said. ‘We also think we can provide the right service using
our own team. Financial services is a very complicated business and we
feel we can do a good job internally.’
PR will now be handled by a four strong team headed by Bloomer which has
been formed under Clerical Medical’s ‘Countdown to 2001’ restructuring
Worth just under pounds 100,000 in annual fees, Biss Lancaster’s account
was managed by four staff under consultant director Gordon Puckey.
Focusing on corporate and product promotion, the work was mainly media
relations led with some additional strategic input.
‘It was a good-sized client for us and we worked for them for many
years, so we will certainly feel the loss,’ said Puckey. ‘It’s
disappointing but there’s a certain inevitability about it.’
Biss Lancaster’s contract formally ended at the end of July but the
agency will work on a final project for a further six weeks.