Asda’s PR manager Sue Finnegan is planning to quit at the end of
Finnegan, who lives in London, said that she felt unable to spend so
much time in Leeds - where Asda is based - and added that she is
leaving on ‘very good terms’.
But sources close to the revamped five-strong PR office suggest there
has been a culture clash between the new broom and the old hands.
Asda hired Christine Watts, ex-corporate communications manager at the
now defunct National and Provincial, as its PR head earlier this year
(PR Week, 9 February).
Watt’s deputy at the building society, Phil Reed, followed her toAsda
when Abbey National assumed control and the PR division closed a month
later. The third N&P team member Nick Argawal joined this month.
‘The building society industry and the retail industry are very alien
cultures with very different sets of press and media interests,’ said
one insider. ButReed countered: ‘If there was a culture clash we
wouldn’t have been brought in.’
Finnegan can lay claim to some significant PR coups for Asda over the
last year. Along with former PR head Alan Preece, she helped break the
Net Book Agreement, won an employee share option battle against the
Government, and began the battle against resale price maintenance on
When asked about her next position, Finnegan said that she has ‘a few
irons in the fire but nothing confirmed’.