GSD&M Cuts Staff, Salaries

AUSTIN, TEXAS Omnicom Group agency GSD&M Idea City here has confirmed a 2 percent staff cut of 11 people and the departure of ecd Mark Taylor.

In addition, the shop has instituted a “temporary” across-the-board paycut for remaining employees, with the most senior staffers taking the biggest hits, an agency representative said on Sunday. It has not been determined how long the salary reductions will remain in place.

The layoff and paycut stem from general economic conditions and internal restructuring and are not tied to specific client losses, the rep said.

The exit of Taylor, who joined GSD&M in February 2008 from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is “a separate issue” not related to the layoffs, the rep said. The agency is now looking both internally and externally for his replacement. Taylor could not immediately be reached for comment.

An art director by trade, Taylor is well respected for his creative leadership abilities, but sources said GSD&M would now prefer to hire an exec with greater management experience and a track record with securing sizable new business.

On a generally upward swing following a couple of tough years, GSD&M recently came up short in the Nationwide Insurance pitch, though it remains alive in the T.J. Maxx review. (The agency already handles sibling chain Marshalls and launched the first combined T.J. Maxx-Marshalls TV push a few weeks ago.)

Since the recession took hold in earnest last fall, agencies of numerous sizes and specialties have made cuts. Most recently, Fallon slashed 9 percent of its workforce and Doner laid off 100 employees. Havas’ Arnold is the one large shop other than GSD&M known to have put in place a salary cutback in addition to layoffs.