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DraftFCB in N.Y. Cuts 47

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NEW YORK The New York office of DraftFCB today laid off some 47 staffers, or roughly 2 percent of the agency's workforce, said worldwide president Laurence Boschetto.

Boschetto attributed the cut to "shifts in client spending." Some clients are spending less, while others are shifting dollars out of media that DraftFCB works in, according to a source. The office's clients include Kraft Foods, Gerber, Citi, Hewlett-Packard, MetLife, the U.S. Census and Fisher-Price.

The layoffs crossed all disciplines but did not affect the agency's healthcare division, which continues to employ some 500 staffers. After the cut, the main agency employs about 600 staffers.

"We haven't lost a client here in nearly a year," said Boschetto, in a statement. "In fact, several clients have given us new responsibilities. Nevertheless, there have been some shifts in client spending, and as a responsible business we have had to adjust accordingly."

Addressing talk in the blogosphere of the possibility and DraftFCB and DraftFCB Healthcare combining operations, Boschetto said: "There is absolutely no plan or intention to combine our New York agency with DraftFCB Healthcare. Both are very significant offerings in their own right and will remain separate, yet complementary entities."

DraftFCB Healthcare focuses on doctor-directed advertising and has its own management and profit and loss responsibilities, though the division occupies the same building as DraftFCB. The two units also share some pharmaceutical clients, with DraftFCB creating consumer-directed ads and DraftFCB Healthcare creating ads geared toward doctors.