President, Chief of Staff Among Tatham Cuts

CHICAGO Havas’ Euro RSCG Tatham Partners here laid off approximately 25 workers on Thursday from its Chicago office, the agency confirmed.

Among those leaving the agency is president Denis Glennon, who came to Tatham from Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners two years ago. Glennon is “returning to New York to pursue opportunities there,” Tatham CEO Gary Epstein said.

Epstein said the layoffs represent just less than 10 percent of the total Euro RSCG staff of the Chicago office, which includes Brann Direct, Impact Promotions and Interaction Interactive.

The bulk of the layoffs, however, were from the beleaguered ad agency, which after an earlier round of layoffs in January was down to about 85 people.

In addition to Glennon, the cuts included Jane Melvin, who joined the shop in October as director of operations and chief of staff.

The cuts had been expected as the shop continues to reel from departures of clients and personnel [Adweek, March 1]. The agency’s largest account, Red Lobster, is in review. Tatham is defending the business, which last year spent $100 million on advertising, against Grey Global Group’s Grey in New York and The Richards Group of Dallas.

Sara Lee last month moved its $20 million Hillshire Farm account to Omnicom’s Element 79 Partners. In January, the shop lost its $45 million Alberto Culver account. Chief creative officer Jim Schmidt quit in June, leaving behind only a handful of creatives.

Remaining clients include Walgreen’s creative broadcast account, Charbroil, C.B. Fleet’s Summer’s Eve and First Health.

Euro RSCG Worldwide CEO Jim Heekin met with Tatham executives in mid-February and assured them of the company’s commitment to maintaining an advertising practice in Chicago.

Epstein on Thursday said he and Heekin plan to replace Schmidt and rebuild senior management.