GroupM North America has laid off 93 people, or about 2.7 percent of its total staff, as the economic pall continues to pummel ad budgets.
The cuts were across-the-board, affecting all four GroupM companies — Mediaedge:cia, MediaCom, Mindshare, and Maxus — as well as corporate staff. The WPP-owned network slashed a wide range of digital and traditional positions across all accounts. Most of those let go were in New York, since GroupM operations are concentrated here. The layoffs took place yesterday and today.
A source familiar with GroupM said numerous senior-level employees were dismissed, including directors, account managing directors, and supervisors. At least 20 of those affected came from GroupM’s digital ranks. GroupM agencies provide media services to clients including Nokia, Dell, Michelin, FAO Schwarz, JetBlue, P&G, and Volkswagen.
A GroupM spokesperson said the headcount reduction is small in relation to the size of the company, and to many other recent cutbacks in the marketing sector.
“If you compare it to some of the other agencies that have had layoffs, and certainly when you compare it to other sectors, it’s very small,” he said. “The downturn…is affecting every sector including us. It’s a very difficult year. When our clients feel the pinch we feel the pinch.”
The layoffs come as GroupM prepares to rebrand Beyond Interaction, its global digital agency brand, as MediaCom Interaction.
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