Tag Archives: Chime Communications

Economic gloom, but it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good

As each week passes, we hear more gloomy outpourings about trading prospects from the major groups in the industry.   Huntsworth and Dentsu joined the gloomy chorus last week, countering Maurice Lévy’s attempt to cheer us up with news of better trading in October.   Even those companies that are currently on target for the year feel the need to counsel caution about their future prospects – witness Chime Communications and Levy’s warning about December.

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What’s in a name like Bell Pottinger?

If all goes to plan, by the end of June a majority stake in five of Chime Communications’ Bell Pottinger public relations businesses will have been sold to their management under the leadership of Lord Bell and Piers Pottinger.

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Does the bell toll for Bell?

Ever since Chime Communications’ chairman Lord Bell disclosed that he and deputy chairman Piers Pottinger were seeking to buy out a slice of the group’s PR business, a cloud of uncertainty has hung over the group.

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Has “sports marketing” become the new “digital”?

The recent rush to acquire sport related agencies by companies like Chime and Havas ahead of the Olympic Games and 2014 World Cup may offer acquirers some attractive short term gains, but what about the longer term?

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Is the recession spoiling your breakfast?

A quick skim over last week’s financial headlines in the marketing sector would probably spoil most people’s breakfast:  “Dentsu’s profit margins hit by recession: prospects gloomy”,”Chime faces restructuring costs as US Government contract ends”,” cScape to retreat from AIM after another £0.5m loss”, “Hasgrove halves profit expectations”, “Huntsworth lops £4m off profit projection”, and so on.  The merger of MRM with Meteorite also smacks of financial disappointment.

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Let’s find something to cheer about!

With nearly everyone going around long-faced, fearing another recessionary dip before we’ve even recovered from the current one, it seemed worthwhile to take a look at what has actually been happening among listed UK marketing companies that have recently published their half year reports.

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Actions speak louder than words

A study of last week’s financial announcements in the sector brought home how little some companies have learned about self-promotion. 

   

The more experienced operators like Chime and Cello made measured announcements about acquisitions.  Chime made no audacious claims about buying Maidstone Road Holdings (parent of the Icon group that provides marketing support for sports sponsors and the like).  The most positive statements included phrases like “the acquisition…significantly increases Chime’s sports marketing business in the football arena” and “Chime sees significant growth opportunities for Icon resulting from the Olympic Games in London in 2012 and in Rio in 2016”.  Or as Lord Bell – someone who is not unaware of the power of publicity – put it calmly: “Icon is an attractive business at an attractive price.” 

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It can still pay to invest in marcoms…occasionally

Figures published last week showed just how widely (and wildly) the prices of shares in the marcoms sector have fluctuated in the depressed market conditions of last year.  As the FTSE All-Share Index struggled to recover with a modest rise of  11.6% and the sector’s MSFI Index put on only 5.3%, observers could be forgiven for wondering why anyone would either seek a stock market listing or invest in the sector.

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Why many marcoms companies may lack stock market appeal

The reluctance of shares in many UK marcoms companies that are listed on the stock exchange to follow the encouraging upward trend experienced by the FTSE All-Share Index over recent months will reinforce the view that the stock market is not the best place for entrepreneurs in the industry to realise the wealth they have created.   And that is a pity.

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Have aggregators had their day?

A few years ago it was fashionable for entrepreneurs in the marketing services industry to search out a company – probably already listed on the stock exchange – and transform it into a mini WPP Group by acquiring as many businesses as possible involved in supplying marketing services of one sort or another.

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