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GSD&M Preps 10-15% Staff Cut

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LOS ANGELES Omnicom Group's GSD&M Idea City will cut 10-15 percent of its staff, roughly 90-120 people at least, this week as a result of the shop losing its portion of AT&T in October, per sources. Most of the cuts will likely come from the agency's media ranks, sources said.

The $2.3 billion AT&T media account was consolidated at WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia in New York last month. GSD&M had handled media planning and buying across traditional and digital channels for the company's landline business. Its exact share of the ad spending could not be determined, but sources said AT&T spent $1 billion annually in measured media through GSD&M.

Sources said executives within the Austin, Texas-based agency are working to place the workers at other shops. GSD&M's current workforce is believed to be 800-850.

The agency has in recent months added John Deere and Cost-Plus World Market. It still retains the consumer-products portion of AT&T's creative and media, as well as the Yellow Pages and yellowpages.com work, estimated combined at as much as $50 million per annum.

Agency executives, including CEO Roy Spence, either could not be reached or declined comment.

Also losing out to MEC in the AT&T consolidation were:

- Interpublic Group's Initiative in New York, which handled media chores for the nine-state Southern region, formerly known as BellSouth, which AT&T acquired late last year.

- Omnicom's OMD in New York, which worked on print on AT&T wireless.

- Publicis Groupe's Digitas in Boston, which lost digital buying chores but kept other non-media assignments.

This story updates an earlier item with revised layoff figures.