Layoffs Hit BBDO, Goodby

Follows major account losses

Bruised by the recent loss of major accounts, two Omnicom agencies, BBDO and Goodby Silverstein & Partners, today announced layoffs.

BBDO said it made “significant” cuts after losing the global Gillette men’s grooming business in late April, a development that will have staffing consequences around the world. Goodby has let go staff following its exit in March from the General Motors Chevrolet joint venture with McCann, known as Commonwealth. Neither agency would divulge the number of people cut other than to say layoffs were made across departments.

While BBDO had no comment at all on the layoffs, Goodby's co-founder Jeff Goodby shared an internal memo in which he wrote:

You’ve heard the financial reasons for reducing our staff. I just want to talk a bit about the human side of it all.

Please be assured: No one takes this process lightly.

As we often say, advertising is all about people and accounts. David Ogilvy wrote, “The assets go up and down in our elevator every day.” It is so true. We value our people, and our humanistic environment, more than anything.

Strangely, that’s why, when we lose business or have cuts in fee, it is important to react thoughtfully, but expeditiously. Companies that don’t are not prepared for the future, and they don’t serve the people who are still on staff. They endanger present and future jobs.

We are optimistic about our plan to move forward, in terms of serving present accounts and getting new ones, and will share details next week. But we are also thankful for and deeply appreciative of the contributions of people who are leaving.

We will do everything to find them new situations. And if history is any indication, we will find ourselves welcoming some of them back in the future.

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