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
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
His departure will also fuel the debate about whether big management
consultants are willing or able to usurp work normally done by
The question has provoked much heated discussion within the
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