Element9 Lays Off 30, 20 Quit

By Matt Van Hoven 

Well this is annoying. I just called Element 79 to get details about some interesting info I happened upon (well, that was whispered in my ear). But when I asked for PR, I got some dude who passed me off to HR. HR passed me off to PR, but wouldn’t give me their number.

So now I’m annoyed. Still, I’m not really that surprised, and you won’t be either, when you read what’s after the jump. Click continue to find out more.

Updates after the jump.


Got a tip stating that Element 79 has laid off 30 employees, although “many creatives remain safe.” Apparently, some 20 staffers have voluntarily left, as in quit, within the last few weeks.

Acquisitions and layoffs like that are clearly symptomatic of recent client losses, most notably Gatorade. We posted the last spot the agency produced for Gatorade; see it here.

A few weeks ago, someone asked this question:

“After all the hype has anything happened at Element 79 since the big account losses? Is the shop merging, have there been layoffs, did (Brian) Williams leave?”

Well I can’t answer that, except to let you interpret what’s posted here. A 2006 story (excerpt below) tells us a little about E79’s creation.

From All Business dot com:

“Element 79 was created in 2001, after PepsiCo moved its then newly acquired Quaker Foods business from Interpublic Group’s Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago to Omnicom, with whom the company’s longtime agencies had a longstanding relationship. Omnicom eventually created a new agency, Element 79, under the direction of former FCB Chicago president Brian Williams.”

Full story here.

Check back for updates.

Update: A few people have asked me how many people are left at Element 79 and in which departments the layoffs took place. Unfortunately I have no idea, so if someone in the know could anon tip me, there’s an audience waiting to know.

Update: “Only 7 of the axed were creatives. Also: some of their lead digital/interactive people have left recently for local agencies, not willing to hang around until they get fired 5 months from now. Even in the midst of these firings, Element is still trying to counter-offer some of the employees they don’t want to see go. To no avail…”