Since 2006, Schematic has been expanding with the help of WPP. The agency moved from LA to New York, basically took over the Dell account (in Austin) while Enfatico floundered, and generally grew as a recognized player in the industry (though on the smaller side). So it seemed odd when a late last year we got word that the Atlanta office had closed. It hasn’t, but things aren’t looking good, according to sources.
What was once a 30-or-so-person shop has been whittled down to just four (or three, depending on who you ask). We’re told that two weeks ago, three-four of the remaining seven were let go. That included the last “creative”, a CD, and leaves three dev guys and an accounts person. According to a source familiar with the matter, there aren’t any accounts left in the office — employees there are serving other clients.
The matter, if true, speaks to a broader issue facing smaller market agencies with big market roots — in a down economy, brands are likely looking for bigger name agencies in hubs like New York. Why not? Some will respond to that notion and say that in Schematic’s case, a lack of creative foresight is to blame (or something like that, who knows). And maybe they’d be right, but when cars are cheap, buy a BMW — it has higher “perceived value” (and an analog clock in the dash!).
An agency representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.