Shandwick chairman Peter Gummer is to be known as Lord Chadlington of
Dean, it was announced this week.
Gummer was advised not to adopt the style ‘Lord Gummer’, to avoid
possible future confusion with his brother, Environment secretary John
Gummer. Instead his title takes the name of the Oxfordshire village in
which he lives.
In an interview with PR Week this week, Gummer said he will be ‘very
active in the Lords’. He also hinted that he may retire from Shandwick
at the age of 60. By that time he expects the firm to have achieved its
global client ambitions.
‘I have enormous confidence that 30 to 40 per cent of our business
within five years will be global business, which will be the bedrock of
what we do,’ he said. ‘Before I bow out of the company, assuming I
retired at 60, I would expect to see all that development come through.’
In the interview, Gummer defends his role in the Tories’‘demon eyes’
campaign, which led to a political storm when his peerage was announced.
‘That whole furore made the advertising terribly famous,’ he said. ‘I
think Labour fell into completely the wrong position. By attacking it so
vehemently they just made it more famous.’
On the PR front, he blamed the industry’s failure to get to grips with
key issues like self regulation, training and evaluation on a lack of
trust and cooperation ‘The things have gone well in the industry have
been driven by external events,’ he said. ‘The things that have gone
badly are the things that we should have done ourselves.’
And he was outspoken in criticising rival firm Burson-Marsteller’s
controversial move to a practice-led management structure. ‘You’ve got
to keep the historic way of reporting as well,’ he said. ‘If you don’t
your business will disintegrate.’