MullenLowe U.S. has begun to scale down its creative business in its Winston-Salem, N.C., office and laid off a number of employees there as part of the process. It’s not entirely clear how many creatives were cut, but people close to the business said it amounted to about 3 percent of MullenLowe’s total staff across the organization.
MullenLowe employs about 950 people so that would mean around 28 workers lost their jobs.
The agency declined to comment on the layoffs but, through a spokesperson, confirmed that it would be scaling down its Winston-Salem creative operation. The office will continue to house Mediahub, the media arm of MullenLowe.
“MullenLowe and Mediahub have made a series of organizational changes this week at its joint Winston-Salem, N.C., office reflecting changes in demand for services in this local market,” the statement read. “Moving forward the Winston-Salem office will be primarily focused on delivering media services via Mediahub. The team in Winston-Salem has strong media planning and buying capability with a particular focus on retail marketing and local market activation.”
The statement continued, “MullenLowe is scaling back creative operations in Winston-Salem due to decreased client activity in this market. Current creative service clients in Winston-Salem will continue to be supported by their core agency teams. Future creative opportunities will be supported by MullenLowe Group’s other U.S. offices.”
People close to the business said the remaining creative team in Winston-Salem is now “more proportional” to the decreasing amount of client work being handled there. The North Carolina Educational Lottery is one account still run in Winston-Salem, but no new creative business will be assigned there going forward.
On the creative side, MullenLowe Winston-Salem has been struggling for several years now. Its woes can be traced back to October 2016 when USAA decided to consolidate its account with Publicis. MullenLowe’s Boston, Winston-Salem and San Antonio offices, which had been handling that business, initiated a round of layoffs a few months later as a result.
Meanwhile, Mediahub global president John Moore maintains a positive outlook on his media business in the North Carolina market.
“Our Mediahub team in Winston-Salem has done a great job building a thriving media practice servicing a diverse portfolio of regional clients,” Moore said in response to the news. “They also serve as an extension of our national teams in the other Mediahub U.S. offices. We see solid ongoing client demand for media services in North Carolina and the broader southeast region.”