Omnicom Says No More Cuts Expected in Wake of Qwest Departure

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- After being dropped by Qwest Communications earlier this month, DDB Worldwide, Chicago, said it cut 19 staffers, or 3% of its 725-person workforce.

When the agency won Qwest's estimated $100 million account in April, it created a virtual unit, called DDBq, which included "dozens and dozens" of employees across Omnicom from DDB regional offices, media unit OMD, I2I Communications, both New York; and Integer Group, Denver and Phoenix. It is unclear whether cuts were made in those units.

A DDB spokeswoman referred calls to DDB Ventures, New York. An Omnicom spokeswoman said additional cuts were unlikely.

Qwest pulled the account

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from DDB and moved it to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, New York, which was the runner-up in the marketer's review.

Rumors swirled that the Denver-based telecom titan moved the account to FCB after Omnicom refused to front media and production fees amid a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Qwest's finances.

Qwest contended that FCB was better suited to help it re-enter the long-distance telecommunications segment.

Hispanic portion
Qwest did stay with one division of DDB when it announced Monday it shifted its Hispanic marketing and advertising account to del Rivero Messianu DDB, Coral Gables, Fla. The account, previously with Solis Advertising and Public Relations, Denver, is focused on the 6 million Hispanics in Qwest's 14-state local-service phoning region.

Del Rivero Messianu will create all of Qwest's Hispanic marketing and advertising campaigns and assist with local events in the Hispanic community and will help support Qwest's re-entry into the long-distance market. Billings were not disclosed.

On Monday, Omnicom sibling BBDO cut staff following its loss of the Allied Domecq business.

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