More Cuts: McCann S.F. Trims 40

NEW YORK Interpublic Group’s McCann Worldgroup joined the list of agencies cutting staffers in one of the roughest weeks the industry has seen in terms of layoffs since the economic crisis began.

McCann today confirmed cutting 40 people, or 5 percent of the staff, in its San Francisco office. The cuts were made yesterday. The outpost works on Microsoft, Microsoft Xbox, Hewlett Packard’s global computers business and Cathay Pacific.
“Like most every player in our industry, McCann Worldgroup S.F. has had to adapt to the difficult economic situation,” the company said in a statement. “We are managing conservatively in this environment, which includes closely monitoring staffing levels.”

McCann joins several players of note that have cut employees, citing lower ad budgets and the continued bad economy.

Responding to Chrysler’s advertising retrenchment, Omnicom’s BBDO on Wednesday laid off about 50 staffers at its Troy, Mich., office, three months after cutting 145, sources said. PHD, another Chrysler shop, was said to have cut about 30 staffers who worked on the business. It was unclear if a third Chrysler shop — Organic — also had made cuts.

BBDO’s latest layoff amounted to a 10 percent cut, leaving a staff of about 475, said sources. The PHD cut was believed to represent 15 percent of its staff.

BBDO Troy’s only client is Chrysler, for which it handles its namesake, Dodge and Jeep brands, as well as parts, service, dealer, corporate image and financial advertising.

Last year, Chrysler spent an estimated $890 million in major measured media on its namesake, Jeep and Dodge brands, down 29 percent from 2007’s total of $1.26 billion, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The 2006 total was $1.38 billion, according to Nielsen.

A BBDO rep acknowledged a staff cut but declined to comment on the number or percentage. The cut affected nearly every discipline, including creative, account management and strategic planning. The shop’s November cut represented about 22 percent of the staff, leaving about 525 employees then.

The BBDO/PHD cuts came a day after WPP Group’s Enfatico and IPG’s The Martin Agency also trimmed their staffs based on client cutbacks and the continued bad economy.

This story updates and replaces an item posted on Wednesday with news of McCann’s layoffs and additional details.