So, we received a few tips this morning that Barkley cut some staff last week and after some inquiry, we received a bit of clarification on the matter from the Kansas City-based agency. Barkley CEO Jeff King tells us, “The staff adjustment affected a few different departments, related to a combination of account loss and, in some cases, existing clients spending less.” No word, though on numbers, as King replies, “Out of respect for those that will be leaving, we will not confirm the number–it would diminish the very real value they have brought to the agency. We will continue to protect them whether they are at Barkley or not.” If that wasn’t admirable enough, the Barkley chief exec adds that the agency will be “employing everyone who was notified through the holiday season” and “will be supporting their job search efforts in the coming weeks and through to the New Year.”
As for the “account loss” part, Barkley wouldn’t get into specific names (foiled again), but we’ve been told that it involves three accounts, which aren’t being confirmed as “privacy was requested from the client.” A Barkley spokesperson adds that “as an employee-owned company, we continually provide state-of-the-business updates internally. Our employees were notified in advance about our client loss, why it happened, and what it means going forward.” On the plus side, of course, Barkley recently won the Spirit Airlines biz (first work to debut in Q1 of 2014) and picked up AOR duties for Vanity Fair lingerie.