Layoffs and Hires Follow Subway Loss at MMB

By Patrick Coffee Comment

Today Boston’s MMB confirmed that a series of layoffs followed the recent loss of the Subway account.

President Fred Bertino writes:

“After 14 years of never once having to lay off an employee, we had to as the result of the Subway loss. It was very difficult and we had to let people go that we loved and have worked with together for years. But ‘in our end is our beginning’ which is my favorite quote from Yeats. And its never been more true for us.”

MMB, which handled the Subway business for approximately ten years and produced a large portion of the ads starring now-disgraced spokesperson Jared Fogle, was one of four finalists in this summer’s review, which ended with America’s biggest fast food chain choosing BBDO as “the agency to guide it into the post-Jared era.” The other contenders were The Martin Agency and McCann.

Our sources claim that the number of employees laid off was in the 25-35 range and that the group included a number of top creative staffers, though the agency says that the layoffs hit across the board and that creatives made up “less than 10 percent” of those affected.

The changes do not come as a complete surprise because Subway was MMB’s biggest client. One source claims that managers at the agency, which employs approximately 150 people, expected to have to let “at least” one-third of its staffers go after losing the review.

The news isn’t all negative for MMB, however.

The agency also just hired SVP/creative director/copywriter Greg Almeida and SVP/CD/Art Director Travis Roberston from hometown rival Arnold Worldwide.

Almeida and Robertson were bumped up to VP positions at Arnold in 2013 as part of a string of promotions that included former GCD Wade Devers (who is currently ECD and managing partner).

The duo, who spent five years working together at Arnold, will hold executive creative director positions at MMB; the agency reportedly tasked them with overseeing the bulk of its remaining accounts.

Adweek’s David Gianatasio contributed to this post.

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