Carat Makes 3% Staff Cut

NEW YORK Aegis Group’s Carat media network this week laid off approximately 25 staffers, about 3 percent of its domestic workforce, across its U.S. operations, per sources.

Carat confirmed that a staff reduction was made, but declined to discuss the number of positions eliminated or provide further details. The network still has more than 600 U.S. employees.

The cuts stem from the departures of two large pieces of business Carat did not get a chance to defend, sources said.

One of those accounts is Pfizer Consumer Care, which pulled its business after being acquired by Johnson & Johnson late last year. IPG’s Universal McCann now handles the work that used to be at Carat.

The other account simply “disappeared,” as one source put it, when Hyundai’s dealer association ceased spending on traditional advertising. The dealer group spent $50 million in measured media in 2005, but that outlay fell to $25 million last year and no ad dollars were budgeted for 2007, sources said.

Just last week, Revlon pulled its $120 million traditional media buying business from the shop and handed it to IPG’s Initiative without a review, though sources said that loss was not a factor in the staff cuts.

In a statement, the agency said: “We’re constantly reviewing all facets of our operations. There was a slight staff reduction at Carat USA this week. Minimal changes were made, and this will not affect our clients or day-to-day operations.”