Poulters set to close as Bezier opts to concentrate on below-the-line

Leeds advertising agency Poulters is to be axed by its parent company Bezier, in a move which puts around 42 jobs under threat.

Bezier CEO, Mark Shaw, told The Drum: “We tried to integrate the offering over the last 18 months but we have to concede that we didn’t do that as well as we had planned. At some point, we were going to have to accept that we weren’t going to get there.

“With the economy as it is, as well, it made sense for us to concentrate on our core skills base - below-the-line.”

As a result, CRC - the London-based retail marketing agency acquired by Bezier in March, will now be at the forefront of the firm’s new creative offering, Coutts.

The new division will be a retail marketing specialist operating out of Soho, Leeds, Bristol and Leicester.

Bezier acquired Poulters in 2006, during a difficult period for the company, with a view to securing its long-term future.

Speculation had been rife for some months that changes were afoot at the agency, although Shaw told The Drum in May that Bezier “had no plans” to drop the Poulters brand.

But a Bezier statement released last week confirmed lasting speculation that Poulters’ days were numbered.

It said: “Poulters’ broad, integrated communications proposition, including advertising and public relations, are no longer core service offerings and unfortunately as a result of this we are proposing the closure of the business.”

Bezier is now in a ‘period of consultation’ with Poulters’ 40-plus workforce who will now be forced to seek new employment.

As part of the review of its business, Bezier will also launch standalone digital agency, enyanga.

Poulters was established in Leeds by Graham Poulter in 1969. Fears about its future surfaced earlier this year when managing director, Gary McCall, left the business and its biggest client William Hill opted to review its agency arrangements.

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