Tense transfer in Paris : on November 15, an official press release simultaneously informed the public and the AFP staff that Erik Monjalous, former AFP « Group Sales and Marketing Director » was joining the sipa press staff as “head salesman”.
The former AFP sales and marketing director joins Sipa press only a few short months after its previous owner, Sud-Communication, of the filiale pharmaceutical group Pierre Fabre, threw in the towel and sold to two Germzn investors Martin Vorderwülbecke and Peter Low, owners of Germany’s second largest news press agency DAPD, with 18% of the 170 million euros German press market share, according to Goldmedia.
Erik Monjalous’ transfer occurred during a particularly tumultuous climate between DAPD and AFP. DAPD accuses AFP of unfair competition given the numbef of subscriptions provided by state companies. DAPD owners are trying to compete with the French agency by creating a European agency similar to their German agency DPA (52% of the German market).
« It is astonishing to see how the agency is incapable of maintaining the company’s interests and protecting its staff” commented a furious union worker.
Since 2006, Erik Monjalous, 40, a graduate of Dauphine and HEC, was Marketing and Sales Director of the Agence France Presse. According to the CGT union, he was fired in September by AFP’s president. Previously, Monjalous was Development Director for Reed Elsevier. He also worked briefly for Lagardère and Thomson-Reuters.
The photo agency war has changed hands, no longer among the historic agencies Gamma-Sygma-Sipa, the battle is now in the hand of the wire services. In the age of internet, all of the agencies have become wire services, as witnessed by Getty Images and is in the works for Corbis.
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