Havas’ MPG Makes 15% Staff Cut

NEW YORK Havas’ Media Planning Group has confirmed cutting 60 of its 409 North American staffers Wednesday, or about 15 percent of its workforce.

A company representative said the cuts “stem from recent client losses.” The rep stressed that all 14 MPG offices across the U.S. and Canada would remain open, and that no further staff reductions are planned at this time.

MPG did not identify any of those laid off “out of respect for their privacy,” the rep said.

MPG is bracing for the departures of both its $300 million Intel business (which it shares with sibling Euro RSCG) and the $500 million Volkswagen of America business (creative on VW is retained by Havas’ Arnold). Intel confirmed this week awarding its account to a team led by Interpublic Group’s McCann WorldGroup [Adweek Online, March 7].

By taking action now, MPG spares incoming CEO Charlie Rutman of the necessity of dealing with that when he joins the firm starting April 1.

Rutman will take the reins at MPG (replacing Jim Rose who left last November) after a seven-year stint with Carat USA. His job will be to stop the defections and bring in new business.