Ludgate Group this week announced the closure of part of its
corporate communications division and initiated ten redundancies.
Among those facing redundancy is Ludgate’s corporate division head and
former GrandMet group PR director Neil Garnett, who joined the agency in
Director Nick Fitzherbert, who oversees internal and external
communications at Ludgate, and divisional director Henrietta Hirst, are
also facing redundancy.
Ludgate’s corporate division has already suffered staff losses. The
agency was bought by US media services group Interpublic in 1997, but in
January this year three senior corporate directors walked out.
The agency’s growth has slowed since its acquisition. Its 1998 turnover
is pounds 6.3 million, pounds 200,000 down on 1996.
This year Interpublic bought Shandwick, which also provides financial
and corporate PR. Ludgate chief executive Robin Hepburn denied rumours
that the decision to pull out of mainstream corporate PR was taken
because of an overlap with Shandwick.
Hepburn said: ’Our review of the business has led us to the conclusion
that 1999 will be a recessionary year. As a result we have decided to
focus on our core business areas.’
Garnett was brought into Ludgate to grow the agency’s non-City corporate
client list. Clients in this area included cement group Cemex and
Kvaerner Metals. The job cuts will leave Ludgate with a corporate
division of 14.