The collapse of Amulet Group – parent company of “no win, no fee” personal injury specialists Accident Group – has thrown its agency and sponsorship agreements into disarray and left its entire marketing team without employment.
Included in the 2,400 staff made redundant last week – some by text message – are Accident Group marketing director Barry Neild, Amulet Group marketing director Sean Gardener and Peter Rogerson, marketing director of First Advice, a subsidiary financial advice chain.
Creative agency Cheetham Bell JWT was appointed two years ago to reposition the Accident Group after bad press for its “Where there’s blame there’s a claim” strapline and ambulance-chasing image.
Last year, Accident Group awarded its &£12m media account to Leeds-based Brilliant Media (MW August 1, 2002), but has not spent money on above-the-line advertising since this appointment.
A question mark also hangs over First Advice’s &£4m shirt sponsorship of Manchester City, which has another two years to run. Merchandise has already been produced for the new season.
Children’s charity NSPCC is awaiting information about a &£6m donation pledged by Amulet’s founder and chairman Mark Langford.
A spokeswoman for administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers says there is no need for any marketing personnel, advertising or media agencies as the company is closed to new business.
Last summer, rival injury specialists Claims Direct called in the receivers after running up a debt of &£50m, but was later bought out of receivership by solicitors Russell Jones & Walker in March.