English & Pockett shuts doors

The screen branding specialist English & Pockett has closed its doors after 23 years, due to what the consultancy’s directors call the ‘changing economic environ ment’ in the market for broadcast design.

The screen branding specialist English & Pockett has closed its doors after 23 years, due to what the consultancy’s directors call the ‘changing economic environ ment’ in the market for broadcast design.

As a result of the closure, which befell the group at the very end of 2007, the consultancy’s 12 staff plus the directors have been made redundant. The four directors will now pursue independent ventures, with head of production Richard Wallman and creative director Michael Berthon joining forces to launch a new consultancy called Radiant Studios. Creative director Rob Machin is planning to set up on his own, but has yet to announce further details of the new business.

Last November, founder and executive creative director Darrell Pockett made the decision to retire. At the time, the consultancy announced that it would ‘take this opportunity to refresh the company’s structure’, but gave no indication that closure was a possibility. Pockett had spent the past four years scaling back his involvement with the daily running of the business in preparation for his retirement.

The consultancy’s new Singapore office, which opened in July last year, is also being closed, with its skeleton staff of two similarly being made redundant. The Singapore office was initially intended to be used as a client services base, directing creative work back to the group’s London office.

According to a statement for Design Week from the directors, ‘Despite a good client base and healthy pitch win rate, the economic environment faced by design consultancies in the broadcast market has steadily eroded profitability.

Significant structural changes were required within the organisation and with the imminent retirement of its founder Darrell Pockett, and a potentially harsher economic climate in 2008, it was reluctantly concluded that the company would have to cease trading.’

Visitors to the consultancy’s website are being alerted to the closure of the consultancy with an announcement on the home page.

English & Pockett’s clients included Udirect, Front Row, Channel News Asia and Discovery Networks Europe.

GROUP HISTORY

• English & Pockett started out in 1985 as English Markell Pockett, with founding members Bob English, Richard Markell and Darrell Pockett

• In the early 1990s, the group changed its name to English & Pockett after Richard Markell left to set up Red Pepper, which later went into liquidation and was acquired by XTV

• English left in 1997 to work in the US, while Pockett announced his retirement in November 2007

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