Another media agency folds

The worldwide economic recession, combined with the turbulence in media and photographic markets, continues to take its toll. I must confess I felt quite teary this morning when I received this notification from Grazia Neri Agency, one of Africa Media Online’s European representatives:

After 42 years of excellence and integrity in the world of italian and international Photography and Photojournalism, Grazia Neri Agency is now compelled to enter into liquidation (voluntary winding up). The extreme editorial and advertising crisis that has started in the second half of 2008 and has exploded in 2009 has brought the Agency to a severe financial crisis, with a decrease in sales of nearly 40%, the capital erosion and heavy losses. All of this in a very short time. The crisis of the italian editorial market is such as not to leave hope for a recover in short or medium time.

We have made all efforts to cut the Agency costs: rent, expenses, staff –in one year we passed from 31 to 18- etc, but they have not been enough. During the last three years and particularly in the first eight months of 2009 the Agency has consumed all the financial reserves accumulated in the past. In the last months and to the last moment we have looked for a suitable strategic partner but with no success.
In this situation, with a huge grief for our history, for the employees, the sales team, the international and italian photographers, agents and friends, for all the splendid human experiences of years, regretting the loss of an important cultural role, Grazia Neri Agency has decided to terminate its activities.
In the next months the Agency will continue its operations only to accomplish ongoing projects, tasks and activities which are necessary to the liquidation.
Thank you for your extraordinary work, creativity, friendship and help that have highly contributed in writing this beautiful collective story of more than forty years.

Michele Neri
Milano, September 17th 2009

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