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Dallas Agencies Make Staff Cuts

DALLAS—Three of this city's larger agencies have continued to trim staff in the first quarter. DDB Dallas, Publicis in Mid America and The Richards Group all let go a handful of employees in January, sources said last week. DDB laid off five staffers as a result of the loss of its American Airlines business to Temerlin McClain, confirmed agency spokesperson Lisa Deatherage. Publicis officials declined comment, but a source said that about 10 employees were let go as a direct result of the loss of TGI Friday's. And Richards representative Sarah Avery confirmed that some staffers had been dismissed at the shop, though she declined to say how many. "We've had to let go a few, but we've also hired some new people," Avery said. Amy Hoover, a representative of national advertising personnel recruitment firm Talent Zoo in Atlanta, said employment may be easier to find for recently dismissed staffers. "Hiring activity is picking up," Hoover said. "They're going to find opportunities come at them much faster than people who were laid off in the third or fourth quarter last year."

Peter Mayer Regains Former Media Head

DALLAS—Jim Elms, former vice president and media director at Peter A. Mayer Advertising, is returning to the agency to resume his former position. Elms rejoins the New Orleans shop from the Portland, Ore., office ofWeiden + Kennedy, where he oversaw Nike's $200 million media account as global media director. "It is not often that a guy of Jim's caliber comes along," said agency president Mark Mayer. "We are very excited and honored to get him back." Elms will once again lead the agency's media department, directing research, buying and planning, beginning March 1.

America's Best Appoints Pro Media

BOSTON—After selecting Pro Media for buying chores on its $10 million account, America's Best Contacts &Eyeglasses is planning to hire an outside agency for its creative. The Pennsauken, N.J.-based retailer is parting after four years with Doner in Southfield, Mich., which handled both creative and media. Pro Media, an independent shop in Natick, Mass., was hired without a review. America's Best will consider "boutique-size" agencies for its creative work. A decision is expected within 60 days. It will not hold a full-blown review with lengthy presentations and spec assignments, client vice president of marketing Kelly Carter said.

Ikea Sets Final Pitches for 3 Shops

SAN FRANCISCO—Ikea will hear final presentations this week from three agencies chasing its $30-40 million account, sources said. Finalists Goodby, Silverstein &Partners in San Francisco, Berlin Cameron/Red Cell of New York and Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami will pitch Tuesday at the company's headquarters in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., sources said. Goodby is scheduled to present in the morning, Crispin will pitch midday and Berlin will close out presentations, sources said. Each agency will have 90 minutes to address about 10 Ikea executives from the U.S. and Europe. The client has asked each finalist to cover traditional advertising, interactive marketing and direct mail.