Chime’s £4.75m deal with Simon Gulliford raises questions about VCCP easyJet win

Well this is a funny one, Chime Communications agreed earlier today to buy Gulliford Consulting, a company owned by former Barclays and Standard Life marketing boss Simon Gulliford (pictured), for up to £4.75m, about half up front.

Nobody, apart from Chime presumably, had heard of Gulliford Consulting before all this happened but now it emerges that Gulliford himself was a consultant on the EasyJet pitch, which resulted in Chime-owned VCCP winning the £50m account.

My friend Bob Willott of Marketing Services Financial Intelligence told the Guardian today that the deal was “more to do with securing exclusive access to Gulliford’s contacts and expertise than to acquiring any substantial recurring income stream. If so, it could be seen as a ‘signing-on’ fee more akin to sports personalities than marketing professionals.”

Indeed it might. Cynics might even say it looks like a ‘thank you’ present.

This all seems most unlikely from the usually sure-footed Lord Bell, Chime’s boss.

Perhaps Tim would care to enlighten us?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.