Marketing agency TDA closes with the loss of 12 jobs

Heather Westgate, the agency's chief executive, has blamed the closure on the changing nature of the direct marketing business model

Heather Westgate
Heather Westgate

The direct marketing agency TDA has closed with the loss of 12 staff.

The company, which was founded by chief executive Heather Westgate in 1996, blamed the closure on the changing nature of the direct marketing business model and the strain of the economic downturn.

TDA, which closed last week, has made each of its 12 staff members redundant, Westgate said, although most have already found new jobs.

The agency, which employed 40 people in 2008, worked with clients including the Blue Cross, Diabetes UK and Mind.

"Since the recession started in 2008, we’ve fought really hard, but the whole model of what clients want from agencies has changed," Westgate told Third Sector. "A number of medium-sized agencies out there are in a similar state and have struggled. A lot of clients are placing project work with agencies and they’re getting four or five agencies to pitch for quite a small project. That pitch process takes up an enormous amount of time, for which you get no value or reward if you don’t win the job."

Westgate said that the problem mainly affected medium-sized agencies, with larger agencies that could assume more costs – and smaller agencies – remaining relatively unscathed.

She said she had registered a new business, We Are Marketing UK Ltd, which she said would not be a sequel to TDA, but rather an agency that would be able to work with clients in a more dynamic and flexible way.

As well as providing strategic consultancy and creative services, We Are Marketing UK will provide training for agency and in-house marketing staff, she said. Several TDA staff members will work for the new company on a contract basis.

All clients have been made aware of the closure of TDA and all pending client jobs have been completed.

In addition to Westgate, TDA’s management team consisted of David Burrows, head of strategy, and Mark Pearson, head of creative.

Burrows said he had accepted a new role at an agency but declined to reveal what it was.

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