60 STAFFERS OUT OF JOBS AT BATES NEW YORK

Other Employees Waiting to Hear From WPP

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- About 60 staffers at Bates Worldwide in New York were told they were being let go last week after Bates employees learned Sept. 18 that the New York office would be formally dissolved by the end of the year.

Sept. 26
About 200 workers remained at the Bates

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office at the time of the announcement, executives close to the situation said. While some would leave as early as Sept. 26, others were told they would stay for as long as six months.

WPP Group purchased Cordiant in August. WPP's chairman and chief executive, Martin Sorrell, said Bates' U.S. operations would be folded into J. Walter Thompson, while the European business would be moved to the Red Cell network. Bates would remain on its own in Asia, while Cordiant's Healthworld health-care agency and Fitch Worldwide design unit will remain as separate brands.

Seventh Ave. office
Bates employees moving to WPP were told they would receive letters from their new WPP employers. Bates' Seventh Avenue office space, said those familiar with the plans, would be taken over by accounting and financial staff for WPP's media services network MindShare and by new WPP unit SoHo Square.

Neither Bates nor new owner WPP Group would comment.

David Hearn, chairman-CEO of Cordiant Communications Group said on Thursday that Bates New York would cease operations at the end of the year. A WPP executive familiar with the company's plans said the fate of other Bates offices, which include Atlanta and Indianapolis, were not yet determined.

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