MADE goes into liquidation
The creative agency had enjoyed steady growth, often in the region of 40–50% per annum for a number of years, and had invested accordingly in expanding its team; at its peak, it employed 35 people. But, during the course of 2018, the agency lost several clients, its project pipeline suddenly dried up and existing projects saw a steep decrease in budgets. In December 2018, the agency retrenched an entire department; this would be followed by several more rounds of retrenchments, taking the team down to 13.
The decline was rapid, says Gilmour. The agency first tried to reinvent itself with a focus on the SMME and startup market but business was hard to find. Still, he and his team had held out hope that new investors might keep the agency afloat but the investment fell through, and the agency was forced to liquidate.
Over the course of the last two weeks, the agency has been handing over client accounts while the legal process takes its due course.
Gilmour says he is proud of what the agency had achieved in its better years, and regrets the trauma suffered by those who had to go through the various rounds of retrenchments and now liquidation. The best he can do now, he says, is to try and limit collateral damage, and offer transparent feedback as the process unfolds.
Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of MarkLives.com.