GOODBY BRACES FOR THE LONG HAUL

Layoffs, Pay Cuts Signal 'Drought' Ahead for Shop

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in laying off nearly 30 employees and asking high-level executives to take a wage cut is preparing itself for what top managers believe will be a tough business situation.

"I didn't want everyone waiting on tenterhooks," said Co-chairman Jeff Goodby. "We have to create a rational, predictable business.

"We all have to manage our business for the times," he said, adding that he is preparing the company for a "drought."

Mr. Goodby declined to be specific about the number of employees he laid off Friday, a number said to be close to 30. Cuts were made across all disciplines, from creative to account management.

First year of layoffs
The Omnicom Group shop had not had a layoff until this year when it let go a handful of interactive group employees, followed in February by a cut of about three dozen employees. Currently, the agency has about 200 staffers.

The latest round of layoffs originally was planned for the week of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., but was postponed until last week.

Goodby Silverstein recently lost the anticipated $100 million Sirius Satellite Radio account as well as media planning for its Discover Card client. The shop also cited billings cuts by two unspecified clients. Earlier this year, the shop picked up the $60 million Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. account.

In addition to the layoffs, the top 40% of the agency's employees were asked to take an unspecified wage cut.

News of the layoffs was first reported Monday on AdAge.com.

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