Media placement house Mercury has had to retrench 10 staff members following a decision by the Government Communication and Information Service (GCIS) to centralise control of Government’s R1.7 billion annual advertising budget (including departmental). The GCIS was a long-standing client of Mercury, which has had considerable success in attracting business from government departments and parastatals over the years.
Sipho James, new business development manager at Mercury, confirmed that while some “key staff members” have been retained, the GCIS team of seven people were unfortunately retrenched, as were two members of the finance department and one receptionist. Mercury CEO Tamoledi Selane claimed a staff compliment of 32 and billings of R300million in a profile published about him in the Financial Mail in August 2010.
James dismissed market speculation that Mercury might be forced to close down. “Like I stated last week in [the Mail & Guardian], we are not closing down, we are going through a structuring process. Yes some staff members have been retrenched, as is the norm in our industry, particularly when you lose an account of the size of GCIS, but the agency is still in operation,” he said.
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