Smith joins top exodus at WPP arm

WPP-owned sales promotion agency Promotional Campaigns Group is to lose group managing director Debbie Smith in the latest in a series of top-level defections.

Smith is leaving PCG after almost 15 years at the agency, to work at a start-up marketing consultancy. Chief executive Duncan Taylor claims Smith will leave by the end of the year and will not take “gardening leave” – he is currently looking for a replacement.

PCG has lost a number of senior executives over the past year, including deputy managing director Andrew Orbell, who defected to rival sales promotion agency Triangle Communications and has not yet been replaced. Orbell, who is a director at Triangle, took two senior PCG account directors with him.

PCG has suffered a steady loss of staff over the past year, according to agency sources. Some estimate the total headcount has dropped from 90 to 35.

But Taylor, who was promoted from creative director to chief executive at the end of last year, denies the headcount has dropped that low. He claims PCG has about 50 staff, just ten fewer than this time last year. “We are recruiting a replacement for Debbie Smith at the moment and we hope to announce a new senior level appointment soon,” he says.

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