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(July 12, 2001) LONDON -- Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide here has begun a round of layoffs due to the current economic downturn.

According to the agency, the decision was directly influenced by the loss of the global Marconi account won in February. Grey Worldwide resigned the $50 million account when terms couldn't be agreed. Marconi hasn't appointed another agency.

Around a dozen people from 280-person agency will be made laid off. The cuts will hit all departments, including creative, account management and planning.

"It was a very sad decision because we had already made significant cost savings and put in place spending controls over the past six months, but in order to safeguard the long-term health of the agency it has meant that we have had to reluctantly look to reduce our staff costs," saidSteve Richards, managing director of the London office.

The agency's key clients include Procter & Gamble Co., GlaxoSmithKline and Mars. -- Bill Britt

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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