Lloyd James, one of the most flamboyant characters in the direct marketing industry, has been forced to put his eponymous company – Lloyd James Ltd – into liquidation, 24 years after the business was set up.
Only three years ago, the firm was planning a major expansion drive and hired former DLG boss Jeremy Whitaker to draw up a list of acquisition targets, including list brokers, list managers and data services businesses.
But the business is understood to have been struggling for a number of months and James finally decided to bring the curtain down on his company last week.
Two former directors, Lynn Stevens and Darrel Linehan, are to relaunch the firm as Lloyd James Media, although it is not known whether James will be a part of the new venture. He was unavailable for comment but is understood to be taking some time out to consider his options.
Speaking exclusively to DecisionMarketing, former managing director Stevens – who has been with the firm since it launched in November 1990 – said it “had been an incredibly difficult decision” to shut up shop.
She added: “The business has been our passion for so many years and we have been lucky enough during that time to work with some amazing clients and to have been surrounded by an extremely talented group of people.
“We will be offering the same core services, but aim to expand our lead generation and digital capabilities. After 24 very enjoyable years, we are keen to keep the Lloyd James brand alive.”
James started his career in recruitment in 1974, working for Reed Executive, before joining SR Communications in 1985 to run its list broking division. It was here that he first met Stevens and they both quit in 1990 to set up the Lloyd James Group.
List and data specialists have come under increasing pressure over the past few years as more and more brand owners start to gather their own customer data. A number of businesses have already gone to the wall, including Mardev-dm2, former DMA chair Rosemary Smith’s company RSA and more recently Independent Direct Marketing (IDM).
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