R/GA’s Subversive Layoff Strategy

By Matt Van Hoven 

AgencySpy has learned from two sources within R/GA that the agency has been quietly laying off employees and using the economy as an excuse, but then filling the empty seats within days of their being vacated. What’s more, employees are under the gun to “work-harder” &#151 and have been getting ultimatums from HR to do so, and hyper-regular performance reviews (as in every few weeks).

We alluded to agencies using (thanks dickweed!) the economic downturn as fodder for replacing weaker employees. And though it’s well within any at-will employer’s right to clean house from time to time, we hear R/GAers are feeling immense pressure to outdo themselves at every turn.


Call it spring cleaning, call it part of the business, or whatever you feel it is. If people aren’t performing to a certain standard, that’s that. Here’s how one spy described it:

“R/GA has a shady strategy of laying off people this year&#151accusing staffers of bad performance in the 2nd round of review even though the first round of review was ok last Dec. Then HR tells the staffers no raise for the new year due to bad performance. And then HR give a 2-week ultimatum to ask the staffers to work harder and take on more projects for there’d be a 3rd review in 2 weeks.”

Another insider gave us the full run-down, explaining that at least one high-ranking staffer explained in no uncertain terms that the shop is cleaning house &#151 not because they have to, but because they can.

It’s understandable that R/GA wants to filter out the “bad” and of course do it without the press making mention. Business is business, after all. But in this downturn it’s worth noting that there are at least two kinds of layoffs happening &#151 those of a legitimate financially driven nature and what we have here, a simple case of “let’s do it because we can.”

A note: no word so far on how many people have been replaced. Anyone with tips can send them to matt@mediabistro.com or use the anonymous tips box.

CP+B Lays Off 60, Cites Economy