Minneapolis’ mono Introduces 1-Year Contract Model, Reduces Its Workforce

By Erik Oster 

Minneapolis-based agency mono went through a round of layoffs recently, parting ways with 13 employees, or between 10 and 20 percent of its workforce, which the agency attributes to a “general restructuring.”

“We are a people-first organization, so it was with heavy hearts today that we announced the difficult decision to reduce our staff to better align our resources with our current client needs and the wider business climate,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ve been honored to work alongside these colleagues who have demonstrated the creativity, intelligence and innovative thinking that mono is recognized for.”

Interestingly, a spokesperson told us today that the layoffs followed a series of account wins that include work on Walmart, Alfa Romeo and multiple Quaker brands such as Life cereal and Quaker Oats.

They also coincide with news of mono introducing monoONE, a more flexible model for working with clients. The agency did not attribute the layoffs to the new model rollout; in fact, mono tells us that the model has been in the works for about a year since founders Michael Hart, Chris Lange and Jim Scott “came together to find a creative solution to evolving client needs and the current marketing landscape.”

An alternative to the ongoing AOR relationship, monoONE is a one-year commitment, during which time the agency will provide a dedicated senior team to work with clients on strategy, design, communication and content development for a brand launch or re-launch. The agreement also includes the development of “a transition plan and brand guide, so during the final months, the work can effectively be taught and handed off to the client to be executed in-house or with specialty production houses to help reduce client budgets in year two, three and beyond.”

The new monoONE model will not replace the agency of record model but rather act as an alternative.

“While our primary way of working with clients will still be on an AOR-basis, monoONE is part of a model for continuing to create transformative work for our clients, but within a new and inventive relationship structure,” explained a mono spokesperson.

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