Havas confirmed that it has cut certain roles from its creative department in Chicago, laying off 2.5 percent of the office's staff, in what it says is part of an internal reorganization to better integrate data, creativity and strategy.
"This effort, designed to solve critical business opportunities with creativity powered by craft and culture, includes taking a fresh look at our structure, capabilities and talent model," a Havas spokeswoman said in a statement. "As part of the continuous improvement of the company, some roles have been eliminated. We are grateful for the work and effort those people put forward while at Havas.”
The spokesperson declined to comment further.
According to one person close to the matter, Group Creative Directors John Nussbaum and Jon Eckman and Group Strategy Director Adrian Fogel were among those let go; their LinkedIn profiles say they no longer work with the agency. They did not immediately return requests for comment.
Nussbaum and Eckman joined Havas in July 2014 and worked together on accounts such as AutoZone, Citi Advantage, Ragú, Moen and Michelin. The person close to the matter credited the creative duo with "growing the original Moen business to be much larger." Fogel came to Havas in March 2018 after serving as a senior VP and planner for VMLY&R and as a VP and strategy director for Leo Burnett before that.
Before Havas, Nussbaum spent time at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, TBWA\Chiat\Day and Fallon, among others. Eckman had held stints also at GS&P as well as Y&R (before it became VMLY&R), Ogilvy and MullenLowe.
The layoffs come amid sweeping industry turnover in Chicago that included two separate announcements today: DDB Chicago Chief Creative Officer John Maxham's departure for independent agency Laughlin Constable and Leo Burnett Chicago Chief Creative Officer Jordan Doucette's move to Toronto agency No Fixed Address.
They also follow recent layoffs at Havas-owned Arnold Worldwide's Boston headquarters, Omnicom-owned DDB Chicago following the folding of We Are Unlimited, and across WPP-owned Ogilvy's nine U.S. offices.
Ad Age's E.J. Schultz contributed to this reporting.