In the latest Accountancy Age/Reed Personnel Big Question survey 45% of FDs questioned said that they did not think the brothers’ company M&C Saatchi could do anything to improve the Revenue’s image.
The Revenue announced last week that it had hired the Saatchis to spruce up its image along with branding consultants Corporate Edge.
Retaining the two firms is the first major act by Ian Schoolar, the very first director of marketing at the Revenue who was appointed at the beginning of this year.
It was shortly after his arrival that Hector, the Revenue’s cartoon mascot, was given his marching orders.
There was deep scepticism among many of the respondents to the survey.
Julian Aldridge, FD with Northamptonshire chamber of commerce, said: ‘It will take years of effort from the whole Inland Revenue not just a few weeks worth of effort from two men in an advertising agency.’
Another, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘It will take more than advertising/PR! What the Revenue needs is to attract more commercially-minded staff.’
Around 36% did say however that the Saatchis – who famously promoted Margaret Thatcher and the Tory party – could improve the Revenue’s image.
‘If the agency that came up with Hector got it wrong then the appointment of M&C Saatchi is an opportunity to get it right,’ said one. ‘The problem that must be overcome is the negative way in which both industry and the general public regard the Inland Revenue,’ he added.
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