Some 30 jobs could be scrapped at a Cornwall design agency.
The majority of employees at the Redruth office of Netbooster, now 4ps Marketing, have entered into a two-week redundancy consultancy period.
There are about 30 employees based in the Cornwall office, which was taken over by London-based 4ps Marketing as the result of a merger with parent group Netbooster last year.
One employee, who revealed the news to Cornwall Live but asked to remain anonymous, believed not all staff will be made redundant at once.
He said: “Some employees are being retained for the time being.
“This poses the question as to whether the remaining employees will be retained long term. The exact number being faced with redundancy in less than two weeks’ time is unclear.”
It is understood that staff were made aware of the risk of redundancy on Wednesday (September 13). The news comes as the same employees were apparently told only recently that the business was doing well and profits have increased since the merger took place last year.
4ps Marketing employs some 160 staff in the UK and 850 worldwide at 25 offices.
The firm includes Argos, Jamie Oliver and Selfridges among its clients.
The employee added: “Some employees have been offered the opportunity to relocate to the London office, but with no support for relocation costs this seems unlikely to be taken up.
“Employees at the Cornwall office are some of the brightest and best young talent the county has and digital marketing is seen as one of the pillars of growth for the county.
“It is therefore extremely disappointing for Cornwall that these talented professionals are being faced with the agonising option of moving to London or looking for positions in Cornwall that are unlikely to be abundant.”
4ps would not elaborate on its plans but denied rumours that it was looking to close its offices in the Barncoose Gateway.
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Paul Smith, from 4ps Marketing MD, told Cornwall Live that the company remained “really excited about the future of our Cornwall office”.
He said: “We’ve spent most of last week telling our business about the growth plans we have. Our client base – UK and international brands – want us to help lead them to navigate the digital marketplace and our Cornwall data and creative team is now firmly at the centre of those plans.
“We have confirmed our long-term commitment to continuing our Cornwall based operations including the retention of the office in Redruth.”
He said the forthcoming redundancies were part of future growth plans and the Cornwall office would not close down.
He added: “We’re making changes for this future growth to ensure that there is never a thought of closure of that office. The people who we’ve attracted have shown us what a great place it is for hiring talented people.”
Another employee at the Cornwall office said: “It is a worrying time for all involved – for both those faced with immediate redundancy and the small number of staff who will remain.
“Really though the bigger picture here is what it means for Cornwall’s digital sector. If companies are continuing the ‘brain drain’ how can it continue to flourish?”
Source: Cornwall Live