On Tuesday last week, The Media Counsel ceased trading after managing director Glenda Wynyard put the company into voluntary liquidation. Since then, there has been no official comment from Wynyard, a representative from Aegis/Carat or a liquidator, which means details about the amount owed and the reasons behind the decision have been scarce. But there's been no shortage of speculative commentary, mudslinging and confusion.
According to a source with knowledge of the hullabaloo, the liquidator chosen by Wynyard last week decided not to take part.
"I believe the liquidator that was in line to look into the voluntary liquidation declined to do the job," the source said.
Others have said the Media Counsel's creditors didn't agree with the choice of liquidator. As such, nothing has been filed at the Companies Office yet (although today is the deadline for a liquidator to be appointed).
Once a liquidator is appointed, it has 10 working days to advise the Companies Office.
Asked why there has been no official comment from Wynyard, the source says there isn't much else for her to say until a liquidator is appointed. Also,the liquidators are responsible for providing the financial information and, as there is no liquidator appointed yet, it will be while before the Companies Office gets its hands on anything.
"It's in the hands of the liquidator. And they probably don't want people going around making up stories."
The source refuted the notion of any dodgy dealings from Wynyard and believes someone is masquerading as a Media Counsel staff member and posting inflammatory and inaccurate comments on StopPress about the liquidation and the way in which Wynyard conducted it.
Asked why someone would do this, they said the media game is a fickle one and there are probably a few personal grievances now bubbling to the surface.
"Glenda has been in the industry a long time and no doubt won some business off people who weren't happy about the loss, or the negotiation process, and unfortunately, for some reason, it appears when someone's down they'd rather put the boot in."
The source says Wynyard did the best she could to ensure the welfare of her staff and, as of today, 12 of the 25 Media Counsel and Consumer Counsel staff members have been employed elsewhere (seven have moved to MediaCom and Ginny Trethewey has moved to Work Communications).
The relationship between MediaCom and The Media Counsel is a relatively confusing one, but the source says the Media Counsel was basically baby-sitting MediaCom, which is part of G2/Grey Group. G2 managing director Sarah Norrie chose Wynyard to manage the MediaCom business in 2008 before taking it back a few months ago.
Nigel Douglas at Chemistry Media now has the "licensing agreement for MediaCom in this market". And, according to the NBR, the merger between G2 and Blackwood Communications Group is going ahead.
“We [G2] own MediaCom in New Zealand, so we’re slowly transitioning it back to Chemistry Media, a fully accredited media operation within Blackwood,” Norrie told the NBR.
The source says the full hand-over of MediaCom to Chemistry Media was meant to take place in two weeks, but it has been fast-tracked to today given last week's issues.