Grey New York Goes Through Cross-Department Staff Reduction Following AT&T Review

By Patrick Coffee 

The New York offices of Grey have parted ways with some employees following AT&T’s decision to consolidate its creative and media accounts with Omnicom’s BBDO and Hearts & Science earlier this month. Grey had been AOR on DirecTV, which is now part of the larger telecomms organization — and according to Kantar Media, the client spent at least $2 billion in measured media last year.

An agency spokesperson writes, “Grey New York has had a staff reduction of a little over 1% primarily due to the AT&T/DirecTV move.  We’ve also had to rebalance our staff due to changes in our clients’ marketing priorities/spending on some accounts across departments.  These are very difficult decisions and we wanted to give people notice, provide severance and begin the process of seeing if there are job opportunities available at other WPP companies.”

The Grey rep declined to elaborate further or name individuals who have left, but our sources claim that much of the DirecTV creative and production teams, along with several account executives, are no longer with the WPP shop. The 1 percent number would put the total affected in the low double digits.

While DirecTV was a significant loss, Grey has also recorded several new business wins and account expansions in recent months including GSK, Marriott, Weber, Kellogg’s, Best Buy and P&G’s shaving brands. Grey London is currently hiring as well after winning retail giant Marks & Spencer. We know because one of our contacts is applying to work there, but don’t ask about starting salaries for junior copywriters.