Agencies looking for personnel to hire might just ring up SBC Communications, which, according to sources, will be laying off as much as 50 percent of its corporate advertising department.
The $28 billion telecom company, the largest in the U.S., recently merged with Ameritech, the Midwestern Baby Bell.
“As part of that merger, we’re looking at . . . how to organize and be most efficient and eliminate redundancies,” said spokesperson Larry Solomon, who declined to specify the number of employees affected.
Workers at San Antonio-based SBC were informed on Oct. 29 that they had 60 days to find new positions within the company before their severance pay began. Senior vice president of advertising Bill Morgan tendered his resignation earlier that week.
According to Solomon, executives are still considering whether they will hold an agency review for the account of the newly merged company. Current SBC roster shops include GSD&M, Austin, Texas; Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; Rogers Townsend, St. Louis; Upshot, Chicago; and several other smaller agencies.
–J. Dee Hill