Getting To Know You, The Dateline Way16.09.2008
Eddy Ankrett, Chairman and Chief Executive of the UK’s foremost dating agency – Dateline – is pleased he kept a date with Gullands’ partner, Paul Burbidge.
“By linking up with Gullands we now find ourselves in new premises in Maidstone which are absolutely wonderful,” said Eddy.
Paul Burbidge handled the smooth transition of Dateline from their previous premises in Earl Street to the quiet and secluded setting of Cooks Barn, Turkey Mill.
“It was important to us that we had a solicitor who understood our business and what we are trying to achieve,” said Eddy, “and Paul proved to be that man. We would definitely use Gullands for any future need the company might identify.”
Although Dateline has its headquarters in Maidstone, it is a truly national concern, bringing people together in traditional ways as well as through its internet site www.datelineplatinum.com
It might surprise readers to know that Dateline's UK database numbers about a million clients seeking to make contact with their first partner, or a new partner following separation, divorce or death of the client’s previous partner.
Eddy Ankrett, managing director, Conrad Morris, and commercial director, Tina Wallace have 30 years’ experience in the dating business. Eddy was a former Managing Director of the Dateline company, which was founded in 1966. It was taken over by a public company and Eddy left to further his other career interests.
But he kept in touch, and when the business was placed on the market six months ago, he got together with Conrad and Tina and the three of them raised the money to buy the company.
“The name of Dateline still led the field but we can now take it a step further and provide an exciting future for the business and the many clients who use our services,” said Eddy.
“Part of our vision is to offer single people whatever they need to make their lives happier.”
That service can effectively be divided into three – Dateline Classic, Dateline Online and Dateline Platinum.
The ‘Classic’ service is still paper driven for those who do not use the internet and is the original dating model. www.dateline.co.uk is the internet model but, by far the most exciting and innovative is www.datelineplatinum.com
With Dateline Platinum, one of the company’s 83 Home Consultants visit clients in their own homes, discuss their profiles and decide the best way forward for them as an individual.
“It is a tailored service which our clients value, and it is definitely the safe and secure way of finding a suitable partner,” said Eddy. “The internet route is successful but, as is the case with all internet dating services, you can never be 100 per cent sure that the person you are talking to is as genuine as their particulars lead you to believe.
“With Dateline Classic and Dateline Platinum, the risk is removed as we have the home addresses of those clients who are seeking a partner.”
Part of Dateline’s development includes partnership links with Solo Holidays and the style consultants, Colour Me Beautiful. Soon they hope to involve a speed dating organisation to offer a broader range of services to their members.
We wondered if dating through an agency was still stigmatised.
“Definitely not,” said Eddy. “We live in different times. The art of personal networking has gone. We used to live in a social society where it was acceptable to speak to a stranger, but nowadays you can’t walk up to a woman in a shopping centre and introduce yourself as your intentions would be regarded as suspicious.”
Finally, Eddy had a tip for the shy young man who is reluctant to approach the beautiful young girl for fear of being refused.
“Go ahead, because it is a fact that the most beautiful women rarely get asked out because potential partners feel that such a woman would be bound to refuse them,” he said.
Referring to other ways in which Paul Burbidge had assisted the company, Eddy added: “Not only did Paul provide an excellent service on the acquisition of our new offices at Turkey Mill, he also put us in touch with other clients of his at Gullands who own restaurant premises in a prominent position in High Street, Maidstone where we may be able to hold a Dateline related function. Now that’s what I call proactive use of synergy between appropriate clients.”
If you would like to know more about Dateline’s services, ring them on 08718718711.