Digitas Cuts 2% of Staff

NEW YORK Digital advertising is not immune to the economic recession, including its largest agencies.
Boston-based Digitas, a unit of Publicis Groupe, is the latest digital shop to downsize, cutting nearly 70 people from its domestic ranks. The majority of the cuts occurred in New York, but none of its five other U.S. outposts were spared.
The cuts amount to about 2 percent of Digitas’ workforce. The layoffs did not affect Digitas’ international offices, a rep said.
Digitas’ three largest clients are General Motors, American Express and Procter & Gamble. All three have suffered in the economic downturn, with GM facing bankruptcy following the failure of a federal bailout.
“In response to changing client needs, we have taken the difficult step of restructuring staffing levels at some of our U.S. offices,” Digitas said in a statement. “We have redeployed talent wherever possible, but the realities of the current economy did require that we let some talented people go in order to best position the agency for continued growth and success.”
Digitas is not alone in shedding workers. Razorfish has cut about 2 percent of its ranks.
Researchers have trimmed their digital ad spending forecasts recently. eMarketer ratcheted back its growth estimates for digital ad spending in 2008 by 5 percent to $23.6 billion. The figure still represents an 11 percent growth rate.