More layoffs hit the industry at Weber Shandwick and VaynerMedia
VaynerMedia and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Weber Shandwick both recently cut staff, Ad Age has learned, as a rising number of layoffs continue to hit the industry.
A VaynerMedia spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that the agency "went through some additional staff reductions" one week ago. The spokesperson said less than 2 percent of staff was cut in the latest round. VaynerMedia also laid off about 5 percent of staff in April; in total, the agency has eliminated about 7 percent of its staff due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our people are our greatest asset at VaynerMedia and we are making every effort to protect them," VaynerMedia Founder-CEO Gary Vaynerchuk said in a statement. "However, as this global pandemic continues to impact our industry, we are having to adjust our business accordingly. Unfortunately, this led to the difficult decision of making some additional staff reductions.”
Weber Shandwick confirmed that it carried out layoffs as well as furloughs and salary reductions, first reported by Business Insider, but declined to say how many employees were affected.
"Weber Shandwick has implemented a range of cost-containment measures in response to the COVID-19 crisis—all aimed at balancing our business and keeping it strong to protect the livelihood of our people and deliver for our clients," a Weber Shandwick spokesperson said in a statement. "These measures include reduced spending, salary cuts for the executive team and senior leaders, placing a hold on salary increases and promotions and limiting new hires."
"Unfortunately, given the increasingly challenging environment," the spokesperson said, "we have had to make additional difficult decisions, including position eliminations, furloughs and taking some employees to a reduced schedule."
The past few weeks have been rough for U.S. agencies, with an increasing number implementing staff cuts. IPG's Golin most recently laid off staff in the U.S., which the PR firm said amounted to less than 5 percent of its employee base.
Last week, Publicis Groupe conducted staff cuts, salary reductions and furloughs across a number of its U.S. agencies including Epsilon, Spark Foundry, Hawkeye and Arc Worldwide, Ad Age learned. BBH also cut 20 percent of U.S. staff last week. Other agencies to undergo layoffs since the start of the pandemic include GroupM, Johannes Leonardo, R/GA, Wasserman, VaynerMedia, CPB, McCann, Grey, MullenLowe, Giant Spoon and Anomaly.