By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Shock Emoov twist - Russell Quirk in talks to set up property PR firm

The circus surrounding the fate of online agency Emoov has taken an unexpected turn.

Yesterday Sky News revealed that the company was on the verge of calling in administrators - a formal decision may be made today, confirming the move.

Now Estate Agent Today can reveal that the agency’s controversial chief executive, Russell Quirk, has held discussions about setting up a public relations company with the aim of representing property industry clients.


Estate Agent Today understands that he has been in talks with at least three other individuals - some having extensive property PR experience - with a view to setting up a company. EAT has put the speculation to Russell Quirk, who has so far declined to comment.  

The decision to consider creating a PR firm is thought to have been made - ironically, in retrospect - when Quirk talked with PRs about a possible floatation of Emoov in the late spring and summer. It is thought that Quirk was unimpressed with some of the companies he spoke with, and considered that an opportunity existed for a new PR firm.

Yesterday we reported that Quirk had set up a company in September in his own name; he is now also reported to have set up another company last month, called Properganda.

Although Emoov has spent substantial sums on mainstream advertising - most recently on its Emoovment campaign - it has spent little on PR compared to other online agencies. 

Purplebricks, for example, has spent very large sums on independent PR firms such as Instinctif Partners; easyProperty, when it was set up, also used international PR firms to try to establish its brand; Yopa now has two different PR firms representing its activities.

Emoov, however, has instead usually preferred to rely on a small in-house team and on Quirk’s own extensive media profile.

Even during the current financial crisis at Emoov - which is still looking for a buyer after failing to attract investment following its acquisition of online agencies Tepilo and Urban - Quirk has participated in a TalkRadio programme about Brexit, on a Property Show podcast about housing, and on Julia Hartley-Brewer’s TalkRadio breakfast show.

During the same period of time he has been extensively quoted in both the property and mainstream press on issues generated by Emoov’s own in-house PR people - such as gazumping - as well as commenting on many different aspects of the housing market.

On top of that, Quirk has also been quoted - at least occasionally - on Emoov’s own fate, which appears to be hanging in the balance in the absence of finding a purchaser.

Sky News says Emoov may today confirm that it has appointed James Cowper Kreston, an accounting firm, to act as administrators.

Quoting unnamed sources, Sky says a pre-pack administration option - allowing a buyer to acquire some of the firm’s assets without having to carry the burden of its debts - could be the option chosen by Quirk and his advisers. 

Sky suggests there was limited interest in buying the company as it stood, with what it calls “seven figure losses” for existing investors.

  • icon

    Probably best Quirk leaves agency. He sold Quirk Deakin for £1 as a failed business owing staff salaries around ten years ago. He is now looking to offload Emoov where the staff aren’t getting paid, most of which have mortgages and rent to pay.

  • icon

    I know a few of the guys who left good jobs to join Quirk who did a very good job in selling them the dream. Hopefully they will now realise that working as and when you want and forgetting that customer service is always king they will now return to proper salaries positions both for them and their families. The good news is I see a number of quality agents are already out there asking Emoov guys to apply so the good ones will be fine.

  • Steve James

    Quirk is another trying to get rich quick flash in the pan guys who talks the talk but couldn't even pull the skin off a rice pudding let alone run a company. Sat in his failing company figuring out what to do as it's falling apart around him he gets the brilliant idea to slag off pr agencies and prepares to jump ship and become a pr guy. What a joke and an embarrassment to estate agency.

    Rob  Davies

    Quirk has always been a PR guy in all but name. He was great at getting his opinions in almost every news story going for a while, but he - and Emoov - really seem to have bitten off more than they can chew with this.

    From the uber-confidence of saying they would be the closest challengers to Purplebricks' No 1 crown to everything going very quiet now they are up you know what creek without a paddle.

  • icon

    If there is one thing RQ has been good at over the years....it's definitely PR!

  • icon

    Headlines....£26.5m raised...there must be some seriously p!55£d off investors out there...why would anyone in the industry employ this man to do their PR?

    "EMoov closes £2.6m funding round
    12 Oct 2015 Central and East"

    "eMoov eyes growth with £9m investment round
    22 Aug 2017 Central and East"

    "Merger and warchest for Emoov, Tepilo and Urban.co.uk
    31 May 2018 Central and East
    The enlarged business has secured £15m in new funding. "

  • Peter Wright

    I don’t know anyone would think this is a shock move. This is Russell Quirk we are talking about. If there is one thing he does better than anyone else... it’s talking about himself. I pity his staff. Just before Christmas is pretty tough. I hope he pays their salaries before he leaves to carry on.

  • icon

    Something else he thinks he can do better than the rest? Bit of a trend forming here.

  • icon

    He should be bankrupted

  • Tony Sinclair

    I beg to differ with those referring to Quirk as a natural 'PR' guy so please let's use the proper term.
    He's a 'Bullshitter', plain and simple. Another Philip Green in the making. (If Karma doesn't catch up with him first)

  • icon

    Well he certainly need a PR firm to help him now!!


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up