UK PR companies call for an end to 'unethical payment terms'

23 May 2015

More than 50 British public relations agencies have launched a campaign calling for clients to pay them within 30 days.

Fifty-one agencies belonging to the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) have signed an open letter calling on organisations to end the practice of “unethical payment terms”.

The PRCA said cash flow problems were “draining the lifeblood of business growth” for many PR agencies.

“It is unfair that larger organisations take longer to pay their suppliers such as PR agencies when these suppliers are often smaller companies and cannot survive with an irregular cash flow. Why should smaller companies provide interest-free loans to much larger organisations?” said the letter.

Payment delays also affect larger PR firms that cannot sustain the costs of paying talent and office space without regular payment. “If PR agencies are to provide their clients with quality services, clients need to respect the cash pressure that their PR firms face,” said the letter. “There is no reason why any company needs any longer than 30 days to pay for the services.” 

The letter urges companies to pay all suppliers within 30 days and sign up to the UK government’s Prompt Payment Code. It also calls on the government to make prompt payment mandatory.

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