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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Barking Up the Wrong Tree as Barkers Dies

If you are in b2b media you can't but help but have noticed that recruitment advertsing is a little hard to come by. Barkers, the oldest and one of the most highly regarded of recruitment agencies sunk in to the mire of collapsing revenues and too much debt earlier this month.

Recruitment agencies used to make 10-15% commission on ads that cost thousands of pounds plus the creative fees and the production fees. Now they get to book the odd print ad and lots of job board ads at a £100 a pop. Ok a bit a of a simplification but you get the point. Couple that with a load of debt and phut!. In a prepack deal the Barkers assets have been bought by Penna, just days after 60 staff were laid off by Barkers. Those poor souls won't now even get their redundancy as the leave behind company is wound up. For media companies the position is also grim. Some I am told, are left with bad debts of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

There is nothing illegal about pre pack deals, but it leaves a sour note for creditors and many staff.

Recruitment advertsing is going to be in the doldrums for a t least two years. My guess is that Barkers won't be the last casualty.

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At 2:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the second time in my career that Barkers have done a prepac they did the same in the 90's downturn and left publishers to take the pain. Nice job.


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