Maher Bird Associates has lost its ninth member of staff in less
than six months with the departure this week of the agency’s
new-business director, Elly McDonald.
McDonald, who leaves without a job to go to, follows three of the
agency’s four founding partners - Phil Bird, Mark Tomblin and Steve
Deput - out of the agency. Other staff who have left recently are
Caroline Taylor, who was the sole remaining planner, and an account
director, Mary-Lou Hamilton Stewart.
Stuart Woodington, a senior copywriter who won a silver at the Campaign
Press Awards for an Anti-Racist Alliance ad, has also left the agency,
as have Lise Hencken and Ann Cyron, two junior account managers.
However, Stephen Maher, the agency’s chief executive, denied that the
rapid turnover of one third of his staff was a problem. ’There are
reasons behind all the departures. I am not remotely concerned. Our core
management team is still in position,’ he said.
Maher Bird has parted with a number of clients in recent months,
including Dr Barnado’s, Hoverspeed and First Mortgage Securities.
Existing clients include News International and Next.
Maher, whose title recently changed from managing director to chief
executive, is the only partner remaining from the starting line-up.
Tomblin, who left at Christmas, has not been replaced, and the agency is
thought to be having difficulty recruiting new staff.
McDonald, a former new business manager at Walsh Trott Chick Smith,
joined Maher Bird in August 1996. She previously worked on the IPA’s
advertising effectiveness initiative.