Parkhill calls in the liquidators

After weeks of industry speculation, the death knell has tolled for Eve Pollard’s Parkhill Publishing.

After weeks of industry speculation, the death knell has tolled for

Eve Pollard’s Parkhill Publishing.



The company has appointed a liquidator, who moved into the Gray’s Inn

Road office this Monday.



Efforts to find a buyer for its two titles Aura and Wedding Day were

instigated four weeks ago but have failed.



The salaries of Parkhill’s 25 staff have been paid up to the end of July

but there are to be no redundancy payments.



Eight of the staff work in advertising sales. The team has been headed

by Wedding Day ad manager Wendy Jones, who has been responsible for

sales on both titles since the departure of ad director Fiona Davidson

two months ago.



Davidson, who has been on gardening leave, is to join The Mail on

Sunday’s agency team at the end of August.



It is thought ad agencies are among Parkhill’s creditors. At launch,

advertisers in Aura were given a sales guarantee of 130,000. This has

not been met and they are therefore due a rebate.



A lack of funding was blamed for the closure. Around pounds 3 million

has been invested in the business.



However, the company has been in turmoil for some time following senior

departures and Aura has had no publisher, ad director or permanent

editor for several months.



A new editor Jane Phillimore - the former deputy editor of Options - was

due to start on 24 July.



An insider said the business plan was unrealistic from the start and

contained over-ambitious ad yield targets.



There were numerous reports of staff experiencing difficulties in

working with chairman Pollard who, many thought, had a management style

that was too hands on.



Pollard said: ’The barriers to entry for small, independent publishers

of upmarket glossies are formidable and we needed more investment to

become profitable.’



She added: ’We have two good titles that readers like but we needed more

backing to publish additional magazines and for promotion and we

couldn’t find it in time.’



Analysis p11.



Topics