Ogilvy to Lay Off Between 50 and 100 Staffers

New York Office Feels Pinch as Clients Shift Spending

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide is readying a layoff of between 50 and 100 staffers in New York this week, according to executives familiar with the matter.

The cuts, which could come as early as tomorrow, will be centralized in New York, affecting the advertising agency and possibly other marketing units under the Ogilvy family of companies, which include OgilvyOne Worldwide, Ogilvy Interactive, Ogilvy PR and OgilvyAction. Management in the upper ranks is expected to remain intact, the executives said.

Reshuffled management
Ogilvy, New York, recently reshuffled management in the wake of the departure of Andy Berndt, former co-president of the New York office who in September left his post at the agency for search giant Google.

The new leadership team at the New York office includes: Carla Hendra, chairman of Ogilvy, New York, who is also co-CEO of Ogilvy North America with Bill Gray; Chris Wall, vice chairman-creative; and Michelle Bottomley, formerly co-president with Mr. Berndt, who is chief operating officer of the New York office.

An Ogilvy spokeswoman declined to comment, and a WPP spokesman could not be immediately reached.

'Business is changing'
According to one executive close to the matter, the cuts are necessary "primarily because the nature of the business is changing." The layoffs are in part a reflection that the agency -- whose clients include American Express, America's Second Harvest and IBM -- has seen declining compensation from traditional ad dollars in light of clients' increased focus on digital, the executive said.

In 2006, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide had U.S. ad revenue of $260 million, according to Ad Age estimates.
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