Business Irish

Sunday 18 March 2018

Flash Gordon loses Irish Life

Alas, it couldn't last for ever. Ray Gordon has finally had the public relations contract for Irish Life prized away from him, after an almost 20-year run.

Rival Wilson Hartnell picked up the gig and no doubt fees that reflect the challenges of working on a big consumer finance and corporate account.

"Flash" Gordon had managed to hold on to both Irish Life and Permanent TSB as clients after IL&P was nationalised and broken up, but his grip on Irish Life looked slippery once it was bought by Canada's Great Life West Co. Great Life already owns Canada Life here, which was already represented by Brian Bell's Wilson Hartnell.

Still, we hear that Gordon MRM put up a show to try to hold on to the account in pitches over the last few weeks.

The Punt's not sure whether those pitches went to board level, but if they did, Irish Life director Mary Finan, a PR guru in her own right, was well placed to help assess the candidates, indeed she is a founder and chairwoman of Wilson Hartnell.

Gordon, meanwhile, has plenty of other fish to fry, including contracts with a slew of state agencies.

Alas, they may not be quite the cash cows they were. Michael Noonan, in reply to a Dail question, has revealed that NAMA paid Gordon MRM €78,926 in PR fees last year, down from €142,653 in 2012 and €112,353 the previous year.

The drop came after both sides agreed a 20pc cut in hourly rates.

Irish Independent

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