Pre-Christmas Layoffs at Publicis New York

By Patrick Coffee 

Publicis New York (or the agency formerly known as Kaplan Thaler, forgive us) became the latest shop hit by the pre-holiday downsizing bug today.

Unfortunately, we don’t have much in the way of details regarding the number of people fired or departments affected. Here’s the agency’s official statement:

“Publicis North America has had a strong year. Our business is very positive and growing. We need to better align our people, with capabilities, as our industry continues to transform. This includes making some bold moves to better serve our clients, who are asking more of us every day in the evolving marketing space. We are aligning our staff and skills for the future.”

One assumes that this is in keeping with the string of tightening-our-belts orders that arrived from on high in recent weeks, but it’s not clear which current clients this statement refers to as Cadillac sales are up this year and T-Mobile surpassed Sprint over the summer to become the number three wireless carrier in the U.S.

Sources tell us they haven’t heard specifics either, so for now we’ll have to go back to Levy’s comment about clients desperate to do more with less and, of course, the loss of the P&G media account earlier this week. (Obviously this loss does not specifically relate to Publicis New York’s creative department, but the restructuring that preceded the P&G decision was the reason given for the latest round of layoffs at MSLGroup this week, so it seems to have affected pretty much every Publicis agency in the U.S.)

UPDATE: We’ve received a bit more information on this move.

Despite the P&G media loss, Publicis New York continues to get more business from that client on the creative and SEO fronts–so that loss can’t really be the main reason for the layoffs at the New York office this week. We also hear that the most senior staffer dismissed was a VP on the tech side, so it would seem that no major creatives got the boot.