American Airline’s Cuts Hurt Temerlin

DALLAS–Sharply reduced ad spending by American Airlines has forced Temerlin McClain to cut 75 employees.

The total number of employees now at Temerlin remains in flux as the agency attempts to integrate former staffers of the McCann-Erickson Southwest office in Dallas. The process, scheduled to be completed this month, was originally going to bring the workforce total to 490, with about 75 coming from the McCann side. The amount of employees laid off is about 18 percent of the workforce, prior to the inclusion of the new McCann Erickson employees.

The agency layoffs are the third in a series of personnel cutbacks this year.

The Irving, Texas, shop had already discharged more than 130 staffers earlier this year, due to the loss of its Verizon wireless account, and reduced spending by Nortel Networks. Additionally, Temerlin had implemented a five percent pay reduction for staff members.

Now reverberations from the national tragedy of Sept. 11 have hit the agency hard, with client American Airlines canceling most of its advertising plans through the end of the year, sources said.

Client officials could not be reached for comment. Temerlin chief executive officer Dennis McClain and other top officials did not return phone calls seeking comment.

An agency source who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that 75 staffers have been let go. Although the cuts are directly related to American Airlines, personnel across the board were affected. Said the source, “They left the core of the American team in place because they want it to be in place when [American’s spending] comes back.”

The agency layoffs took place the same week that Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines announced 20,000 job cuts.

The total number of employees now at Temerlin remains in flux as the agency attempts to integrate former staffers of the McCann-Erickson Southwest office in Dallas. The process, scheduled to be completed this month, was originally going to bring the workforce total to 490, with about 75 coming from the McCann side.

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