PHD, BBDO Make Cuts

Chrysler Group’s retrenchment in advertising is continuing to take its toll on its Omnicom Group agencies.

BBDO today laid off about 50 staffers at its Troy, Mich., office, three months after laying off 145, sources said. And PHD, another Chrysler shop, is said to have let go about 30 staffers who worked on the business. It was not immediately clear if a third Chrysler shop — Organic — also had made cuts.

BBDO’s latest layoff amounts to a 10 percent staff cut, leaving a staff of about 475, said sources. The PHD cut is believed to represent 15 percent of its staff.

BBDO Troy’s only client is Chrysler, for which it handles its namesake, Dodge and Jeep brands, as well as parts, service, dealer, corporate image and financial advertising.

Last year, Chrysler spent an estimated $890 million in major measured media on its namesake, Jeep and Dodge brands, down 29 percent from 2007’s total of $1.26 billion, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The 2006 total was $1.38 billion, according to Nielsen.

A BBDO representative acknowledged a staff cut but declined to comment on the number or percentage. PHD and Organic could not immediately be reached.

The BBDO cut affected nearly every discipline, including creative, account management and strategic planning. The shop’s November cut represented about 22 percent of the staff, leaving about 525 employees then.

It’s shaping up as a rough week for agency staffing nationwide, as the BBDO/PHD cuts come a day after WPP Group’s Enfatico and IPG’s The Martin Agency also trimmed their staffs based on client cutbacks and the continued bad economy.