NEWS: Gummer adopts new title for ‘very active’ role in the House of Lords

Shandwick chairman Peter Gummer is to be known as Lord Chadlington of Dean, it was announced this week.

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.’

Feature, p10

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