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
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.’