Sommers quits consultancy to head SRU’s brand development

Mike Sommers, the client turned marketing consultant and one of the most outspoken critics of agency shortcomings, is quitting PriceWaterhouseCoopers to join Peter York’s SRU business strategy consultancy.

Mike Sommers, the client turned marketing consultant and one of the

most outspoken critics of agency shortcomings, is quitting

PriceWaterhouseCoopers to join Peter York’s SRU business strategy

consultancy.



The former Woolworths and TSB marketing director will head SRU’s brand

development and growth strategy practice, and join the board.



This week, Sommers, 49, admitted that his background as a marketing

strategist was an uncomfortable fit with the systems-orientated work at

PriceWaterhouse, where he has been a partner in charge of marketing

consultancy.



His departure will also fuel the debate about whether big management

consultants are willing or able to usurp work normally done by

agencies.



The question has provoked much heated discussion within the

industry.



At his inaugural speech last year, Graham Hinton, the president of the

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, warned of the dangers of

consultancies marching into agency territory.



But Sommers this week questioned whether major companies in the field

could take on agencies’ work.



’Things like relationship marketing have been very important to us as it

involves setting up systems like call centres,’ he said. ’But I’m a

marketing strategist and do not generate that work.’



He added: ’SRU is different because it doesn’t have products to pull off

the shelves. In essence, it’s a very good marketing strategy company

with years of experience.’



At SRU, Sommers will link up with Mary Stewart-Hunter, the former Lowe

Howard-Spink planning director, who is developing SRU’s brand and

communication planning.



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