The Duchess of York’s press aides, Kate Waddington and Penny
Furniss, have teamed up with veteran charity fundraiser Patzi Shepperson
to launch an agency which will handle, among other accounts, the
Duchess’s UK media relations.
Sputnik, based in London’s Carnaby Street, is due to launch formally in
May. It will specialise in media relations with the national press and
Sputnik’s first clients are Children in Crisis, Medi-Cinema, Italian
spring water brand San Pellegrino and advertising agency Fallon
Furniss worked at Saatchi and Saatchi in the 1980s. She later co-founded
the unborn children’s charity Tommy’s Campaign. She was press secretary
to the Duchess for two years until December 1997, when Waddington, who
had been the Duchess’ secretary for eight years, took over the role.
Furniss continues to advise the Duchess part-time.
Waddington was one of the small team which helped establish the Thatcher
Foundation. The Duchess’s UK media relations will be handled at Sputnik,
while her US media relations and commercial ventures are handled in the
US by New York agency Rubenstein Associates.
Shepperson is a former fundraising director of Tommy’s and has worked in
the charity sector for 15 years, with organisations including the Save
the Children Fund and Comic Relief.