Havas-owned Arnold Worldwide confirmed today that it has parted ways with just over a dozen staffers in its New York and Boston offices over the past two months. The agency officially says that the number of employees who departed during that time is equivalent to the number hired.
A spokesperson writes:
“[There was] a small reduction in staff in Boston and New York due to the natural ebbs and flows of our business, and because we were the casualty of client acquisition and consolidation this year.”
Specifically, we hear that 13 staff members left and 14 new hires joined the Arnold organization during October and November. A source close to the matter says that staffers have been “trickling out” over the past several months and that the numbers mentioned are part of this trend. We hear that the moves affected all departments across the agency.
Arnold made at least three significant hires during the same period. Nisha Dass, formerly SVP and group chief of strategy/biz dev at Miami’s Massy Group, joined the shop in Boston last month as EVP and global director of business strategy & analytics, along with corporate strategy. In New York, Arnold hired Mathew Jerrett and Tim Flood, both formerly with Steve Stoute’s Translation, as ECDs to oversee all work on the Hershey’s account. While nothing official has come of earlier reports hinting at some potential challenges on that business, Arnold has not created any visible work for the Hershey’s brand as of late.
We hear that the reason behind most of these changes is slow movement on the new business front in addition to some changes in existing accounts. The client consolidation mentioned in the quote above concerns Milk Bone, which was acquired by the J.M. Smucker Company earlier this year when it bought Big Heart Pet Brands (previously part of Del Monte). The brand’s new parent company decided to end its relationship with Arnold when the parties’ contract ended in October, and Milk Bone has reportedly already chosen its new creative partner though its new parent company has yet to release the winning agency’s name.
University of Phoenix also launched a creative review in September, and we hear that the winner of that one will be announced soon.