Lord Bell rejects connection between Gulliford deal and VCCP’s easyJet win

Lord Bell, chairman of Chime Communications, has written to me regarding our story about Chime’s acquisition of Gulliford Consulting for a maximum price of £4.75m.

We noted that Simon Gulliford, former marketing head of Barclays and Standard Life, had been a consultant on the £50m easyJet pitch, working for new easyJet marketing director Peter Duffy. The account went to Chime’s ad agency VCCP, one of the hot tickets in London at the moment.

And we observed that ‘cynics might even say it looks like a thank you present.’ That’s not our view but the timing does look a bit iffy.

This is what Tim wrote: ‘Dear Stephen, your gossip sheet this morning implies there is wrongdoing in our acquisition of Gulliford Consulting. This is not true and the allegation is without foundation. There is no connection between this business transaction and the winning of the easyjet account by VCCP.’

Well gossip sheet’s a bit rude but, of course, we’re happy to take Tim’s word for it. He’s an honourable man and Chime Communications is a good outfit.

It would be nice to learn what Gulliford Consulting’s role in the Chime empire is to be. Agency match-making maybe?

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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.