FCB SLASHES UP TO 65 JOBS

Cuts Come As PepsiCo Lawsuit Proceeds

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- The other shoe has dropped for Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide.

After losing $350 million of PepsiCo business, the embattled agency today cut 10% of its head count in its Chicago office, according to an internal company memo.

Among those leaving the agency is Bob Dreveny, executive vice president and executive creative director.

Between 60 and 65 employees across all departments are being dismissed in addition to the 52 employees who are moving to a new Omnicom agency, where PepsiCo's Quaker Oats Co. moved its business. In May, the company laid off 36 employees, or 5% of its 725-person workforce.

The current layoffs come despite the agency's win of the Boeing account, which has had its billings

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reduced from what originally was estimated to be $60 million to $75 million business.

PepsiCo in September pulled its $350 million Gatorade, Aquafina and Tropicana orange juice assignments out of FCB, after Interpublic, long affiliated with Coca-Cola, acquired FCB's parent, True North Communications.

FCB and PepsiCo have two scheduled court hearings next month to determine if FCB can handle rival Coca-Cola Co.'s Powerade, the chief rival of Quaker Oats' Gatorade, and Dasani water, which battles PepsiCo's Aquafina.

Mr. Dreveny was one of four employees named in a temporary restraining order that banned them from working on Coca-Cola's Dasani bottled water.

Jonathan Harries, worldwide creative director-chairman of the FCB Chicago office, said he is now restructuring the creative department.

Messrs. Harries and Dreveny would not comment further.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment, citing company policy.

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