Zimmerman Goes Through Round of Furloughs and Layoffs

By Erik Oster 

Retail-focused Omnicom agency Zimmerman Advertising has gone through a round of staffing reductions in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on client business.

Zimmerman Advertising in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., implemented cost-cutting measure including furloughs, layoffs, salary and schedule reductions in line with measures taken by the agency’s clients, a source with direct knowledge of the shop’s operations confirmed to Adweek, adding that alternative measures were utilized to prevent reductions where possible.

The measures follow Omnicom CEO John Wren outlining a series of cost-cutting measures across Omnicom agencies one week ago, including furloughs and layoffs. The number of employees laid off or furloughed were in line with similar measures taken at other agencies (most of which have applied the measures across 3-5% of employees), according to a source with direct knowledge of Zimmerman’s operations, who added that the shop anticipated bringing back furloughed employees in sync with client demands.


Retail has been impacted strongly by the coronavirus pandemic, with the sector one of the first to feel the effects of the pandemic, but this source predicted it would also be one of the earliest markets to recover.

Zimmerman Advertising announced a series of promotions last month, including Lisa Rossi being named chief client officer, Jill Schneider taking on the role of evp, retail account services and Maria Rico being promoted to vp, operations director.

A source familiar with Zimmerman’s operations said these promotions followed a much smaller earlier round of layoffs at the agency due to decreases in client spending, but another source with direct knowledge of the shop’s operations characterized this as agency turnover unrelated to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic or changes in client spending.

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