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McCann Erickson N.Y. Braces for Big Layoffs

Cuts coming amid new business dry spell

Photo: Susan Trigg via Getty Images

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McCann Erickson's new business dry spell is taking a toll.

Today, the Interpublic Group shop is expected to lay off a significant number of employees at its New York headquarters. Sources described the cut as "massive" and "sizeable." Another source, however, pegged the reduction at about 4 percent. The office employs between 450 and 500 staffers.

"As part of McCann’s reinvention, the agency has had to make some very difficult decisions," a McCann representative said, in a statement. "One result is that some employees will not make the transition with us. Protecting both individuals and the health of the company is a difficult balance. The decisions made were hard. But they were based on a clear strategy for the agency."

The agency is a finalist in ExxonMobil's global review, but that's not expected to conclude until the end of the month. Since January, the shop has contended in a string of reviews—including Burger King, Stolichnaya, and Hennessy—but has failed to win. Also, its biggest win—the U.S. Army—was a defense of existing business.

At the same time, McCann has invested heavily in new talent, as recently appointed chief creative officer Linus Karlsson remakes his department.  

Top clients in New York include MasterCard and Verizon's FiOS.