Ousted M&S boss Roger Holmes has drafted in PR guard dogs to safeguard his reputation in the messy aftermath of his departure.
It is understood that specialist outfit ReputationInc will not spin on Holmes's behalf, but rather ensure his track record at M&S is covered fairly and accurately by City hacks.
Holmes is anxious not to be turned into a scapegoat for M&S's problems when reporters inevitably compare new chief Stuart Rose's plans - to be unveiled on July 12 - to his initiatives. Some of Holmes's flagship projects, such as Lifestore, may be abandoned.
Nigel Whittaker, partner at ReputationInc, did not confirm that Holmes is a client, but admitted: 'It is not uncommon for ReputationInc to be appointed in management-change situations to facilitate accurate reporting.'