Headhunters shun Creative Forum

Leading industry headhunters have stormed out on Britain’s top creative directors after being kept waiting outside a meeting to which they had been invited to justify their ’high’ fees.

Leading industry headhunters have stormed out on Britain’s top

creative directors after being kept waiting outside a meeting to which

they had been invited to justify their ’high’ fees.



Tim Delaney, who chairs the Creative Directors Forum, wants members

unilaterally to agree to pay only 10 per cent commission for creative

headhunting, as opposed to the current 15-20 per cent. The move follows

the CDF’s controversial drive in February to force production companies

to justify the high costs of filming ads.



The headhunters, who included Canna Kendall, Hannah Brown of Kendall

Tarrant, and Liz Harold and Jan McGregor of Harold McGregor, had been

invited to put forward their case at the CDF’s first meeting on the

subject last Thursday.



However, they were kept waiting outside a meeting room at the Institute

of Practitioners in Advertising while the creative directors discussed

the Equity dispute with Mark Hanrahan, Saatchi and Saatchi’s head of

TV.



Fed up with waiting after what is said to have been more than an hour,

the headhunters walked out, leaving their defence presentations on a

chair.



Delaney declined to comment on the meeting. However, it is understood he

distributed a press release to all members of the CDF yesterday for

approval.



A statement will be made next week.



In her defence notes left at the IPA, Kendall said cutting commission

rates in half was ’not a rational response’. She warned: ’It could lead

to the best headhunters abandoning advertising for other professions, or

becoming bad headhunters who seek to double the number of people they

place in order to maintain their income. This staff instability would

cost the industry dearly.’



Tessa Gooding, the IPA’s communications director, said: ’It’s extremely

unfortuate this has happened and we have sent our apologies to the

people concerned. We will seek to continue discussions at the earliest

opportunity.’



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