Mike Gray of Martin Williams Talks on Layoffs

By Matt Van Hoven 

We just had a candid conversation with Mike Gray, 17-year president of Martin Williams, about the circumstances surrounding his agency, namely a third round of layoffs at his 190+ person Minneapolis shop.

This week, eight addies from across the company were let go. Similar layoffs occurred in February and March of this year, when Hoover and Cellular South (respectively) went elsewhere. Ugh.

But it’s going to be OK. See how, after the jump.

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Like most of the layoffs we’ve reported, this one has a silver lining &#151 at least we’re trying to look at the positive. Any time good people are let go, they have a chance of going elsewhere and starting down a new path. Yes, it sucks; but raw talent rarely goes long without a pallet to paint.

As for the agency, regardless of the loss, there are a number of healthy accounts that are doing well. Take Marvin Windows, for example, a company that shouldn’t be doing well at a time when the housing market blows. According to Gray, the company has seen some of its highest numbers (this quarter) in its 28 year relationship with MW.

Add to that Cargill, Pfizer and a myriad of other work, and you’ve got an agency that can rebound…if the economy allows it. But that’s just our interpretation.

The layoffs are attributable to client loss, says Gray, but there are other pitches in the mix (as always). As for his company’s reputation, Gray said all he can do is focus on the positive, and remind his people that with good clients, things eventually turn around. Here’s hoping.