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
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
Delaney declined to comment on the meeting. However, it is understood he
distributed a press release to all members of the CDF yesterday for
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