San Diego’s Vitro confirmed today that it recently parted ways with a number of employees, and sources close to the matter tell us that the downsizing stems from recent changes in several major accounts.
An agency spokesperson declined to comment or provide detail beyond telling us that the shop had indeed gone through a round of layoffs; the total affected was approximately 18, which amounts to less than 20% of the San Diego office’s total staff.
We do not have specifics regarding who was fired, but we hear that the move touched all departments across the office. Some staffers will remain with the agency in part-time or freelance capacities; it’s unclear whether they can be included in the above total.
Asics has long been the MDC Partners agency’s largest client, and we hear that the sneaker company recently moved more of its marketing work to its global agency partners rather than its U.S. creative lead (Vitro). The shop’s most recent press coverage for Asics work concerned the New York Marathon “World’s Biggest Selfie Stick” project last October.
Sources also tell us that the agency will no longer work with Kaplan University or Wild Turkey, which launched a rebranding campaign created by Vitro back in 2013 but, like Asics, recently transferred all or most of its marketing budget to its global partners.
These changes all happened within the past two months, forcing the agency to cut costs by cutting staff.
Asics’ PR department has not responded to multiple requests for comment regarding its relationships with Vitro and other agencies.