As the economy cools, ad agencies continue their trend of layoffs.
Two Interpublic Group of Cos. units made layoffs. DraftWorldwide, New York, laid off 33 people, about 8% of that staff and 2% of its U.S. work force. Also, Jack Morton Worldwide, Chicago, a unit of Interpublic's Allied Communications Group, laid off 70 people in its domestic operation, representing 8% of its U.S. work force and 6% worldwide. Jack Morton has 30 offices worldwide.
Two Omnicom Group divisions also slashed staff. Rapp Collins Worldwide, Chicago, cut six jobs as part of its plan to convert from a full-service agency to a support organization. More jobs are likely to be eliminated over the several-month transition. Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, laid off 17 employees from across all departments. The cuts were not due to an account loss or client spending decrease, but rather to the "slowdown in the economy," a spokesman said.
Online media company Avenue A, Seattle, laid off an undisclosed number of employees, though less than the 150 that was rumored.
Clear Ink, a Walnut Creek, Calif., marketing shop, cut 40 jobs, one-third of its staff. It follows a round of 15 layoffs last month.
Lawsuit alleges tobacco marketing conspiracy
A lawsuit filed May 23 in U.S. District Court alleges tobacco manufacturers have engaged in a conspiracy to hide the health effects of tobacco and market their product to children.
The suit, filed by attorneys Michael D. Hausfield and Johnnie L. Cochran, asks that the tobacco companies be required to disgorge any profits they received as a result of the conspiracy and to fund an educational ad campaign.
Tobacco makers said the complaint has "no merit."
Arnold Worldwide takes big prize in Kelly Awards
Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide, Boston, won the $100,000 MPA Kelly Awards Grand Prize for its "Hey, There's A..." campaign for the new Volkswagen Beetle. Arnold also claimed top honors for Best at Meeting Campaign Objectives and Best Idea/Concept.
Other winners were Interpublic's Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, which took home Best Headline and Copy for the second straight year for its Harley-Davidson branding campaign, and Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, which won Best Design and Graphics for its work on Nike's women's shoes.
Ads from Volkswagen's winning "Hey There's A..." campaign also won Ad Age Best commendations. (See the ads on P. S-16.)
`Glamour' editor ousted; Leive will succeed Fuller
After a rocky three-year tenure as editor in chief of Conde Nast Publications' Glamour, Bonnie Fuller was replaced May 23 by Cindi Leive, editor in chief of sister publication Self and former Glamour deputy editor. Ms. Fuller's contract was to expire in August. The move is seen as a way for Conde Nast to protect one of its most profitable franchises. Ms. Fuller's ouster was said to be due in part to falling newsstand sales. See AdAge.com for more on this story.
Interpublic readies reorganization plan
Interpublic-poised to be the world's largest ad organization with its planned acquisition of True North Communications-tacitly admitted to a broad reorganization that could lead to the creation of a global marketing services agency network. Interpublic and True North filed a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning the estimated $2.3 billion purchase. The proxy cited a New York Times article from May 22 that quotes Interpublic Chairman-CEO John Dooner admitting a review of "the total Interpublic." He refused to give specifics. The article refers to press reports of a new unit, branded the Partnership.
Separately, Frank Lowe, chairman-CEO of Interpublic's Lowe Group and its Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide agency, is passing his role as CEO of Lowe Lintas to Jerry Judge, the agency's president. Mr. Judge will relocate from London to New York when he takes on the duties this summer.
Havas Advertising's Euro RSCG Tatham on May 22 announced it changed its name to Euro RSCG McConnaughy Tatham. ... Publicis Groupe's Frankel, San Francisco, is looking for a president to run the 100-person office. The post was vacated two weeks ago when Carleton Prince resigned for personal reasons. ... General Nutrition Cos., plans to lessen the ad contribution requirements for its franchisees. Instead of paying up to 6% of revenues, franchisees will now pay no more than 3% toward ad funds. Deutsch, New York, handles ... General Electric Co.'s NBC has agreed to participate in a $50 million pro bono campaign focused on Hispanic education issues ... Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln Mercury consolidated its Hispanic advertising at WPP Group's Bravo Group, New York. ... Seneca Investmentsaligned Agency.com, New York, has launched a site, www.freelander.com, for Ford's Land Rover's new Freelander sport utility vehicle. Agency.com received creative input from Omnicom's GSD&M. ... E-Trade Group reached an agreement to acquire rival online broker Web Street in a $45 million stock swap worth $45 million. ... Bluelight.com, owned 60% by Kmart Corp., is cutting an undisclosed number of marketing and merchandising employees at its San Francisco headquarters and will consolidate those functions out of Kmart offices in Troy, Mich. ... Experian acquired e-mail campaign system Exactis from troubled ad network 24/7 Media for $35 million.