Ludgate sheds ten in corporate division

Ludgate Group this week announced the closure of part of its corporate communications division and initiated ten redundancies.

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

April.



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.



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