Grant Thornton in as Worldpop fizzles

Mike Jervis and Nick Wood, partners at the firm will act as joint administrators of Worldpop, once one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing interactive youth marketing companies.

The company, the brainchild of four entrepreneurs, including former Radio 1 DJ Peter Powell, targeted customers in the 16-35 age band through SMS text messaging and emails. Powell resigned earlier this year.

It was on track to be cash positive at the end of 2002, after recording turnover of Pounds 2.1 million in 2000 and a client-base that included blue chip brands such as Budweiser, Procter and Gamble, Kodak and Sony and all the major UK record companies.

However the company ran into funding problems at a time when many businesses are under pressure due to the much-publicised downturn in advertising revenues in the UK.

Joint administrator Mike Jervis was quick to point out: ‘[Worldpop] is not another disaster – Worldpop is a well managed, sophisticated direct marketing operation and the potential of its marketplace is outstanding; SMS use is expanding at the rate of 180% per annum and Ovum forecast that UK wireless marketing will be worth Pounds 1bn per annum by 2005.’

He said the company was growing at an ‘exciting rate’ and had invested ‘considerable sums to keep it at the forefront of the industry’.

‘It is of significant interest to potential purchasers from the advertising, media and marketing sectors as well as the music industry,’ Jervis recommended.

The administrators also pointed out that Trinity St Direct, the direct marketing company acquired by Worldpop in December 1999 would not be affected by the collapse.


Grant Thornton UK

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