Ogilvy to Lay Off Almost 10% in North America

Cuts Attributed to Continued Declines in Client Spending

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- WPP's Ogilvy & Mather is preparing to cut nearly 10% of its North American staff today, according to executives familiar with the matter.

The reductions, which are anticipated to decrease the agency's head count by some 150 to 175 employees, are expected to take place in New York and other Ogilvy offices nationwide. An Ogilvy spokeswoman declined to comment. Industry executives attributed the cuts to continued pullback in client spending for 2009.

Shifting budgets
It was just one year ago that Ogilvy initiated large-scale layoffs as the agency saw declining compensation from traditional ad spending as clients increasingly shifted their marketing budgets into digital channels. Those cuts, though, were estimated to affect no more than 100 Ogilvy staffers and were largely centralized in New York.

The latest round comes after Ogilvy appointed a new global CEO, Miles Young, this summer to succeed Shelly Lazarus.

Ogilvy & Mather recorded $812 million in revenue worldwide during 2007, according to Advertising Age estimates.

The cuts today at Ogilvy are the first of more expected in the coming weeks across the WPP family of agencies. Holding-company chief Martin Sorrell himself has said job cuts were forthcoming, particularly in developed markets such as the U.S., the U.K. and Spain.

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