Restructuring Leads to Departures at TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A.

By Patrick Coffee 

TBWA_CHIAT_DAY logoTBWA\Chiat\Day became the latest large agency to make staffing changes this week in a move that amounts to a minor restructuring of its Los Angeles offices.

We’ve received conflicting information about the news, but we can confirm that the number of staffers let go was in the low two digit range, that production was the department most immediately affected and that the departures are not tied to changes in any specific account.

A February AdAge report implied that Miller Lite might be reassessing its relationship with TBWA L.A. and possibly sending future creative assignments to other shops in its network. Sources with direct knowledge of the matter, however, tell us that story was misleading, that TBWA will retain creative AOR status on the account, and that 180LA leaked the lead to AdAge.

Regarding this week’s changes, we hear that–beyond the office’s efforts to shift the focus of its production department–some in accounts and creative were also laid off, possibly due to performance concerns.

This is the first such change in some time at TBWA L.A., though the larger North American organization has made several big hires and promotions in recent weeks. Those include: Neil Dawson, who was brought on to lead the Nissan account after the client’s U.S. sales boss “ripped” its advertising; TBWA\MAL chief strategy officer Rebecca Stambanis and ECD Jorge Calleja, who were hired to replace two departing executives; Lauren Niemcewicz, who was promoted to managing director of Engage; and Nancy Reyes, who left Verizon to become managing director of TBWA\Chiat\Day New York.

We also have reason to believe there will be new hiring announcements out of TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. later this month and that top leadership positions will be involved.

Updates to come.