The Los Angeles offices of Deutsch went through a round of layoffs last Friday that we hear were directly related to the loss of the Pizza Hut business.
A spokesperson did not comment beyond stating that less than two percent of the L.A.-based team had been affected.
Deutsch won Pizza Hut exactly two years ago and went on to create such efforts as the debut campaign (which essentially said, “We’re Italian”) and a retro spot starring David Robinson and Dick Vitale but NOT Dennis Rodman. The chain has been struggling for years to regain its former glory in the U.S., along with fellow Yum Brands property KFC.
AdAge reported last December that Pizza Hut had reached out to various agencies for new creative ideas, and in March we learned that Deutsch would be defending the business. The shop later assisted with the review, which concluded when the client picked Droga5 as its fifth creative AOR in 6 years.
A Deutsch representative declined to comment on the Pizza Hut business and did not elaborate on last week’s staffing changes. We do not have the names of any affected employees at this time, but we do understand that the changes touched various departments and accounts beyond Pizza Hut, with strategy and production particularly affected.
Multiple sources have told us for some time that Pizza Hut is not the world’s most agreeable client. It’s not yet clear when we will see Droga5’s first work for the chain.