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Enfatico, Martin Agency Slash Staff

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NEW YORK There were more layoffs in the agency world today, as WPP Group's Enfatico cut  8 percent of its global staff -- approximately 80-100 people -- and IPG's The Martin Agency trimmed 5 percent of its workforce, or 24 employees.

Enfatico was formed to service Dell's global account, and cutbacks by that client, as well as the general economic climate, drove today's round of layoffs.

In a statement Enfatico CEO Torrence Boone said:

"Today, we announced a proposal to restructure our team and decrease our workforce by approximately 8 percent. This difficult decision is a direct result of the global recession and pressures affecting virtually all aspects of the economy, especially the technology sector. Dell has continued to proactively manage its operating expenses, including marketing expenditures, to map these new realities. In turn, we must streamline our business to adjust for these unprecedented economic times."

He continued: "While these proposed actions will undoubtedly apply new pressures on our young agency, it is critical that we remain focused on teamwork, support and possibility. The best organizations come together during times of difficulty and often emerge stronger when the storms pass. We must stay unwaveringly committed to Dell and its business results -- our unique partnership will be a source of strength for both organizations." (Click here to read the complete Enfatico statement.)

WPP won the Dell account -- with annual revenue estimated at $100 million -- in December 2007 after a review. The U.K.-based holding company spent much of 2008 assembling Enfatico to handle the huge assignment. The unit has no other major clients. Pre-layoff staffing was believed to be 1,000 or higher. An Enfatico rep late Tuesday declined to say how many people were let go or how many remain.

Meanwhile at Martin, client cutbacks were also the reason for layoffs, though no accounts were specified.

"While 2008 was our best year ever, we've seen steady erosion in projected spending amongst several of our clients in the past six to eight weeks," said Dean Jarrett, svp of marketing communications at Martin. Jarrett said this marks the first staff reduction the shop has made since November 2006. The agency is best known for handling Wal-Mart and Geico.

Numerous others have also cut back or not filled open positions since the economy began to slide downhill last fall. Cuts at media outlets and conglomerates have also proven to be, for the most part, deep and painful.

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