You’re hired: Sugar revives Amstrad for digital agency

sugarLord Alan Sugar is resuscitating the Amstrad brand to launch a new digital marketing business, marking his return to the market two years after the agency he backed with Apprentice winner Mark Wright – Climb Online – was sold for a reported £10m.

The new agency, Amstrad Digital, is set to be led by Lord Sugar’s grandson, Joe Baron, as well as Tom D’Arcy, who have both worked at Climb Online.

Lord Sugar founded Amstrad in 1968 at the age of 21 but sold it 17 years ago to Sky in deal worth £125m. Sky still uses the software but not the Amstrad name.

He criticised “belligerent” bosses at Sky before it was taken over by Comcast in 2018 for refusing to sell the rights. Sugar told the PA news agency: “I had always asked, since 2007, to have it back because I want to give it down to the family to use in their business.”

Talking about the new digital shop, Sugar said: “They’ve got the brand name, that in itself is worth a fortune, and they’ve got to exploit it. And I want to see some money. TV companies have cut back tremendously, and the reason for that is because the power of television advertising is not as big as it was. It is now digital marketing, digital advertising and social media that are actually pulling in sales.”

However, any prospect of them working remotely has gone straight out of the window, following Sugar well-documented hatred of WFH. He added: “These two lads are not going to sit in their pyjamas working from home, they’ve got to get out there and do some business.”

D’Arcy chipped in: “The digital marketing landscape is ever-changing, which we see as a huge opportunity. The last thing someone should be doing is cutting back on marketing spend.”

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