Update after the jump, and here.
Usually when we get a tip that sounds too bad to be true, it is. But in today’s case we don’t know what to think. After hearing that JWT Inside, formerly JWT Employment Communications “has closed several offices and eliminated the creative departments in several more,” we had to do some follow up.
You may not know it, but JWT Inside does media buying for a number of clients, and has offices across the country. But it seems that some of those offices just have an answering machine, or in one case nothing at all to answer calls. Maybe they use phones like the one in the above picture…
Our first call, naturally, was to the New York office. I tried to reach Rob Rizzuto, but the unsure phone-answerer (don’t want to say receptionist for fear of reprisal) told me he is out sick for the week. Interesting; not really.
So I called around, aiming my next dart at the Los Angeles corporate office — but no one answered. Like, it just kept ringing and ringing and ringing. WTF is that about?
More after the jump.
So I called the other LA office, which went straight to voicemail. Atlanta’s phone-answeres told me everyone goes home at 5pm, but forwarded me to an unknown “young lady,” who had indeed gone home for the day. She’ll be walking in to a strange message from me in the morning, stating something to the tune of, “Hey _____, just wondering what the heck is going on with JWT Inside. Heard a bunch of shops are being closed. Call me,” etc. (OK I can’t remember what I said exactly, but you get the point).
But all this strange non-answering was lending itself to my source’s info.
“The writing is on the wall for closing more offices. They aren’t even keeping employees informed.”
This last bit is what got me thinking. What if the company is coming down and no one even knows about it. When I finally got through to a nice woman at the Dallas office, I learned that the New York office handles press. But upon my initial call there I asked for the public relations rep., but to no avail. Were the JWT Inside folks daft enough to fire internal PR?
Hopefully Darlene Atkinson will call me tomorrow and clear this all up, but something is definitely fishy with that company. If nothing else, they definitely need to streamline press communications. Their lack of skills in that area is worth writing about in and of itself.
Update: This comes from another JWT Inside insider. We’re told that the Boston and Denver branches are completely gone, as in no linger exist. Creative departments in Detroit and Dallas were killed and “Atlanta had some kind of creative shakeup.” As for the New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and LA shops our source could not verify their status.
In terms of when this all went down, and why, well those details have yet to be revealed. But you can be sure we’ll let you know as soon as we do.