Round of Downsizing Follows Miller Lite Loss at TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A.

By Patrick Coffee 

As you almost certainly know, MillerCoors surprised some in the industry last month by moving lead creative duties on its Miller Lite brand from TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. to 180LA without a formal review.

This news followed the departure of president Luis DeAnda after 14 years with the larger TBWA organization–which was itself preceded by a round of departures that was reportedly in the low two digits and primarily affected the L.A. office’s production department. (A “very small number of employees” who were not affected by the previous round left along with DeAnda.)

Neither of those changes were directly tied to the Miller business at the time, but we have learned that the loss did lead TBWA L.A. to announce more staffing cuts yesterday.


In this case, we hear that the number let go was between 10 and 20 and that most affected parties had mid-level or higher positions within TBWA. According to one source, the office chose to retain more junior staffers in the interest of cost-cutting after the Miller Lite loss.

An agency spokesperson declined to offer specific comment on the news beyond confirming that the L.A. office had openly parted ways with an undisclosed number of employees this week.

The total number of departures throughout April and May to date would appear to be greater than 5o, according to more than one tipster. There’s some anxiety regarding the possibility of more such moves in the future, but we’ve heard that the downsizing is done for now and that TBWA Los Angeles will have multiple executive-level hiring announcements in the days and weeks to come.

We also hear that the agency is actively helping those who’ve been cut find other positions within the Omnicom network, and 180LA happens to be hiring.

Last week, that agency targeted other West Coast shops with a Snapchat geofilter in the interest of finding its next social media manager, and 180LA reps told AdFreak that it got responses from 40 applicants within the first 10 hours of the stunt. TBWA L.A. was not one of the offices targeted, but Goodby Silverstein & Partners was less than impressed…and much GIFing ensued.

72andSunny, R/GA, Deutsch and Pereira & O’Dell did not directly respond to said filter on Twitter.