Kantar is preparing to close its TNS office in Edinburgh by the end of the month, as part of its review of 'strategic priorities'; but two of its former directors, Jim Eccleston and Duncan Stewart, have announced they will launch their own agency, 56 Degree Insight.
At the beginning of the month, WPP reported a 4.5% decline in revenue for its Kantar / DIM division, which includes Kantar TNS, Kantar Millward Brown and Lightspeed. WPP is currently reviewing a possible sale of Kantar as part of a restructure which aims to deliver estimated annual savings of £275m by the end of 2021.
Kantar employs around twenty people in Edinburgh, and says it plans to retain some of these staff on an 'agile basis'. The firm said in a statement: 'Like any company, Kantar continually reviews its strategic priorities and takes actions to better position itself for growth. As part of our planning for 2019, we have taken the decision to close our Edinburgh office effective the end of March'.
Following this news, Eccleston and Stewart will officially launch 56 Degree Insight in mid-June, having both been employed as senior directors in the Edinburgh office for a number of years. Both previously worked for Scotland's first full-service agency System Three, which went through a series of mergers until it began trading as TNS in 2009.
Their new agency, 56 Degree Insight, will work across a range of sectors - tourism and leisure, transport, the natural environment, energy, culture, food and drink and the Scottish market generally. Areas of expertise will include consumer and B2B research covering customer experience and brand usage and attitude surveys. In a pre-launch statement, the pair said: 'We are excited by the prospect of creating 56 Degree Insight, a business which will have at its heart, the desire to service Scottish and other UK clients, large and small, with a bespoke, modern, client-focused research and insights offer'.
Web sites: www.kantar.com and (from May) www.56degreeinsight.com.
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.