Recession Strikes Razorfish on West Coast

The recession has struck Razorfish’s West coast staff, following layoffs by the Microsoft-owned digital agency in its New York office. Citing the “challenging economic climate,” the agency blamed the cuts on financial and technology clients reducing their ad budgets.

According to the firm, 70 employees working in its Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle offices were given pink slips last week. The laid-off staff accounts for 4 percent of U.S. employees.

“This isn’t pleasant for anyone,” said the company in a statement sent to ClickZ News. “We care greatly about our people and are working to ease the transition by, for example…providing outplacement assistance to affected employees.”

Razorfish let go 40 staffers based in New York in October, noting the impact of the economic downturn on its financial services clients.

The firm did suggest clients outside the financial and tech sectors will continue to move dollars toward digital media. “Meanwhile, the net impact to our other clients is anticipated to be minimal,” continued the company statement. “Indeed, despite challenging times, many clients continue to invest in digital marketing because it is measurable and delivers a higher return on their marketing spend. Our teams are fully staffed and we are prepared to meet our clients� needs now and in the months ahead.”

Razorfish, of course, is not alone in letting go employees. As the recession affects countless firms in the online ad industry, other agencies have announced layoffs recently. WPP-owned Group M fired 93 people, about 2.7 percent of total staff, from various divisions in late January. Agency.com has also shed staff.

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