Arnold Cuts Staff; Hopes for Fidelity Lessen Severity

Arnold last week cut 3-4 percent of its nationwide staff, about 30-40 employees, with most of the cuts made in the media department at the agency’s headquarters.

A representative of the Boston agency cited the down economy; sources said some of those cut were told “overlaps” between Arnold and Media Planning, the New York buying service owned by Arnold parent Havas, were also to blame.

Arnold has not cut as deeply as other agencies its size, largely because management expects the shop next month to be tapped to replace crosstown rival Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos as lead agency on Fidelity Investments’ $100-120 million account. Fidelity has said it is considering roster shop Arnold for an expanded role.