Deutsch, JWT, Ogilvy Cut Staff

LOS ANGELES – Citing the same dismal market forces that have forced layoffs across the advertising industry, several shops today announced staff reductions.

Deutsch has laid off approximately 27 staffers, or 3% of its 900 person workforce, a representative of the company confirmed. The positions eliminated were divided between the Los Angeles office, which employs about 300 staff members, and the New York office which has about 600. The representative declined to specify the number of workers affected at each office.

“There is never a good time to reduce staff but contrary to what other shops are doing this is a lot less dramatic, ”said the representative. She noted that the layoffs are part of a restructuring that will involve hiring additional staff with “different skill sets.”

“We found the need for new positions because we are finding that our clients have different needs,” she said.

The staff reduction comes on the heels of a third quarter earnings report from the shop’s parent, Interpublic Group, which indicates a $477.5 million loss.

The move also follows other cutbacks at other IPG shops, including FCB Chicago, which today let go of 60 people, 10 percent of its staff (see related story).

Other New York agencies had similar bad news. On Tuesday DDB NY laid off 20-25 across all disciplines. DDB NY chairman Bob Kuperman cited the economy as the reason. “It’s unfortunate but the economy is dictating this not only for us but for everybody in the industry,” Kuperman said. “We’re trying to re-evaluate our work force.”

Also today, the New York office of Ogilvy & Mather laid off an estimated 30 staffers, sources said, due to cutbacks in client spending, particularly IBM and Motorola. Ogilvy executives could not be reached for comment.

And an agency representative confirmed that J.Walter Thompson will cut eight New York staffers; the layoffs represent about one percent of the agency’s 700 person New York office.