Even Crispin Is Cutting Jobs

Agency Eliminates 60 Employees, Citing Economy's Impact on Advertising Budgets

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Here's a barometer for the economy's impact on the agency business: One of the most successful shops around, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, is cutting about 6% of its staff, a total 60 employees in its Boulder, Colo., and Miami offices.

"In response to the current economic climate, advertising budgets are being reduced in virtually every industry," said a spokeswoman for Crispin, which is owned by MDC Partners. "On a comparative basis, CP&B's business is doing well, but we are not immune to the constriction of the economy.

"In order to most prudently manage our business, we have taken the difficult step of reducing our staff by 60 of our 900-plus employees," she said. "We do not anticipate any further staff reductions. These are extraordinary times, and we hope that we will not have to do this again."

The spokeswoman declined to comment on the types of positions that were eliminated.

Battered by the economy
For a shop as successful as Crispin is today to undertake layoffs is a clear sign of how much the ad-agency business is being battered by the economy as clients heavily scale back their marketing budgets.

Crispin -- which was named Advertising Age's 2008 Agency of the Year -- booked an impressive 15% growth in revenue to some $140 million. It handles advertising for marketers including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Burger King, Domino's, Volkswagen and Best Buy.

Thousands of jobs have been eliminated from the ad industry in recent months, and the numbers continue to climb on a weekly basis. More than 3,000 have been eliminated at ad conglomerate Omnicom Group alone, and several hundred more cuts have been made across the business, at agencies ranging from Ogilvy & Mather to Leo Burnett and Euro RSCG.