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Iris closes standalone Manchester agency but keeps office as "satellite"

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By Cameron Clarke, Editor

March 2, 2012 | 3 min read

Global marketing network Iris has all but closed its Manchester agency and will now only use the office as a drop-in space for client meetings, The Drum has learned.

The move means that after almost a decade in the city Iris will no longer have any full-time staff based in Manchester.

Simon and Claire Humphris, Iris Manchester's managing director and new business director respectively, will move to Iris headquarters in London.

An Iris spokesperson told The Drum the Manchester team's six-strong creative department and seven-strong account team were offered the opportunity to move to London.

None of the creatives, including creative director Pete Armstrong, have moved to London. The Iris spokesperson said all have managed to find work elsewhere.

It is believed Armstrong will be moving to Canada to take up a new role outside of the Iris network.

Two members of the account team will be redeployed in London but the remainder have left the agency.

Ian Millner, joint global CEO of Iris Worldwide, told The Drum the firm had decided to "review" its Manchester operation "in light of the way our client relationships are developing".

He said: "We set up in Manchester to be closer to clients like adidas, Wonderbra and Kellogg's but as they have grown they increasingly use services out of our global HQ in London, so it no longer makes sense to have a full-time operation in place.

"We'll be using the office as a satellite office going forward."

In a statement issued in response to The Drum's inquiries, Iris said the Manchester office would remain "purely as a base/drop-in office space for client meetings and new business opportunities".

It is understood Iris will continue to use the office for meetings and pitches for the next year at least as it still holds a 12-month lease on the space in Hewitt Street, Castlefield.

Iris Manchester was incorporated in December 2002. The network now has standalone offices in London, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, New York, Atlanta, Miami, Mexico City, Delhi, Spain and a recently-opened 200-strong office in Indonesia.

It also has partnerships in Germany, Russia, Beijing, Vietnam, Cambodia and Sweden. Iris said that despite the closure its global headcount grew by 20% last year.

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