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Stratagem takes stock after slump during 2001

A WEAK end to the year in 2001 has taken its toll on a number of businesses in the marketing industry, and Stratagem is no exception.

The advertising and public relations company has put itself into voluntary redundancy this week despite only recently picking up some new business.

Stratagem managing director Robbie Stewart claimed the business suffered a severe downturn in the second half of 2001 and this has carried through to this year.

“It’s not really related to client loses. We just had a whole lot of clients that came nowhere near spending what we thought they’d spend,” Mr Stewart said.

“In the meantime we’ve been successful in picking up new business.

“We just felt it was the responsible thing to do.”

Stratagem is continuing to operate through the five-week administration process and hopes to emerge from this period with a realistic strategy for the future.

“It’s a process of taking stock and examining where the best options are,” Mr Stewart said.

“That was the motivation for taking the step.

“We need to assure we are in a position to successfully complete the work we have.”

Stratagem made a number of staff redundant at the end of last year to stem the financial bleed, however it hasn’t proved enough on its own to salvage the business.

The weak advertising market led to several major moves – The Shorter Group agreed to a buyout by industry giant Marketforce, and there were redundancies in agencies all across town.

“I think it’s indicative of the market,” Mr Stewart said.

“We’re mainly involved in corporate and brand identity and advertising, but not primarily retail advertising.

“Our area tends to go up and down a bit and the lack of confidence hasn’t helped.”

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