JWT Cuts 30 Staffers From Chicago Office

Move Comes After Loss of Five Kraft Brands Worth $120 Million

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- JWT, Chicago, is laying off about 25% of its staff, or 30 people, following its recent loss of some Kraft Foods accounts, a spokeswoman confirmed.
JWT has laid off 30 employees from its Chicago office, which was once of the agency's largest.
JWT has laid off 30 employees from its Chicago office, which was once of the agency's largest.

Kraft recently put five brands handled by the agency -- Oscar Mayer, Kraft Singles, Ritz, Triscuit and Grey Poupon -- into review. Those moves followed the reassignment of Lunchables and Miracle Whip, two other JWT brands, to Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB and Omnicom Group's DDB, respectively.

Once agency's biggest office
JWT, a unit of WPP Group, is now down to about 90 employees in Chicago, which was once one of its biggest offices.

It continues to handle Kraft's international business and its Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Wheat Thins brands. It also does work for Kimberly-Clark and Federated Stores.

The five JWT-handled Kraft brands recently put into review were reportedly worth about $120 million in billings. Lunchables spent $40 million in measured media, and Miracle Whip spent $15 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Philadelphia and Wheat Thins spent $46.5 million in measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
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