MULLEN BEGINS STAFF LAYOFFS

56 Employees Cut in Wake of Nextel Account Loss

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BOSTON (AdAge.com) -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen today said it would lay off 56 employees, or 16% of the 342 staff
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in its Wenham, Mass., headquarters. No other offices will be affected.

Lost largest account
The move comes in the wake of Mullen's loss of its largest account, Nextel Communications. The layoffs cover all departments in Wenham but will not affect Mullen's office in Winston-Salem, N.C., which employs about 100 staff; or smaller operations in Detroit and Pittsburgh.

The layoffs may be concluded at the end of the week.

XM Satellite win
Though Mullen last week won the review for XM Satellite Radio Holdings, but the $50 million account did little to ameliorate the layoffs, the agency said.

The layoffs had been expected since Mullen lost the $160 million Nextel business this month. The account went into review in January. Mullen CEO Joe Grimaldi had said the telecom giant represented only 15% of agency revenues, though others familiar with Interpublic and the agency suggested that estimate was low.

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