Arnold Lays Off 50 at Boston HQ

Further Staff Cuts Could Come at Other Offices

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In another sign of belt-tightening in a tough economy, Havas-owned ad agency Arnold Worldwide yesterday cut nearly 50 staffers at its Boston headquarters.

The reduction represents about 8% of the agency's overall work force, an executive familiar with the matter said.

Creatives, account managers let go
Staffers were notified yesterday of the layoffs, the bulk of which affect Arnold's operational and administrative positions, though a few creatives and account managers were let go.

The layoffs were restricted to the Boston office for now, but further cuts could come in other offices, the executive said. Besides its Boston HQ, Arnold has two other full-service agencies, in New York and Washington, and seven regional offices, in addition to an overseas network of offices.

Bracing for trouble
The downsizing is not linked to any client losses, but rather was a proactive move as the agency aims to hedge its bets amid the economic downturn. Clients on Arnold's roster include Volvo, Carnival Cruise Lines, Fidelity Investments, Progressive and McDonald's.

Arnold is the 19th-largest U.S. ad agency, according to Advertising Age DataCenter estimates, with an estimated $150 million in revenue last year.

An Arnold spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter.