Executives close to the New York-based agency say recent losses, including the $80 million MasterCard International creative account, and disappointing results from new-business pitches, including United Airlines, made a redeployment of staff necessary.
Those executives say 35 to 40 staffers were let go, though one senior agency executive said the number is closer to 22. Ammirati
employs about 750 in the office.
North American President Duncan Pollock declined to elaborate on the layoffs and other changes but noted: "We've made these moves to make sure our agency remains strong and continues to add value for our clients."
One executive close to Ammirati said the layoffs were widespread-"They were up and down, on all levels."
`IMBALANCE IN NEEDS'
The executive said the restructuring is due to an "imbalance in needs," referring to insufficient emphasis in areas, such as interactive and strategic planning, and overabundance in others.
New hires will be concentrated in the direct marketing department, which includes interactive; and planning and research.
Last week, Exec VP-Managing Director Cheryl Bailey was promoted to the new title of executive director of planning and research. Sharing her old title in the planning and research department are Patricia Berry and Stuart Hazlewood. Ms. Berry, 37, was a senior VP-group director of planning and research at Ammirati; Mr. Hazlewood, 33, comes from DDB Needham Worldwide, where he was senior VP-group planning director.
Over the past year, Ammirati has had difficulties in account wins and losses as its creative department faced staff turnover.
The latest departure occurred last week, as Exec VP-Managing Director Tod Seisser, 39, left to take the new post of co-creative director at J. Walter Thompson USA. In previous exits, the creative team of David Page and Brent Bouchez went to M&C Saatchi, and former Worldwide Creative Director-Multinational Accounts Helayne Spivak left for J. Walter Thompson Co. last fall.