Bates Closes Irvine Office

LOS ANGELES — Bates USA West has shuttered operations, sources said.

The Irvine, Calif. office, which a year ago had $275 million in billings and roughly 150 employees, closed Friday with 20 staffers and no clients, sources said.

Bates representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

The decision to shut the office follows the loss of the Cordiant-owned shop’s largest account, Hyundai Motor America. Earlier this year Bates lost creative and media duties on the client’s corporate account, with creative going to The Richards Group in Dallas and media moving to Carat in Los Angeles. Bates relationship with the car maker officially ended Sept. 30 when its contract for the dealer portion of the account expired. Hyundai spent roughly $330 million through Bates’ various offices, with the bulk of the business handled out of Irvine.

In May, Bates also lost Pacific Sunwear’s $10 million creative and media account which was ultimately awarded to Doner in Newport Beach, Calif. and Southfield, Mich. after a review. The only other account handled out of Bates’ Irvine office, Aramark Uniform Services, departed in August.

The shop’s lease on the office space does not expire until the end of February. Remaining in the building are roughly seven or eight employees from marketing services network 141 and interactive shop CCG.XM, both owned by Cordiant, sources said.

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