An agency spokesman confirmed the layoffs at the Chicago agency, which he attributed to the recession. The agency also lost a large, longtime client, Miller Brewing Co., in a review during the fourth quarter.
Additional pressure comes from parent Starcom MediaVest Group, which has been dealing with severe cuts from mega client General Motors Corp. in recent months.
The layoffs were first reported by the blog Agency Spy, which said 75 to 100 people were let go. That would amount to an 8% to 11% reduction at the 900-person agency.
The spokesman did not confirm or dispute that figure.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Starcom had lost the Virgin Mobile account. Virgin was in fact a client of Starcom MediaVest Group sibling Spark. Also, the agency has 900 people, making the 100 person layoff an 8% to 11% reduction.