Campbell-Ewald Will Cut Up to 100 Employees Amid Detroit Drama

Move Stems From Budget Cuts at Client Chevy, Lost Accounts

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NEW YORK ( -- The Detroit dilemma has hit Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned Campbell-Ewald, which is slashing up to 100 employees, executives familiar with the matter said. The move, which would reduce staff by less than 10%, is due to drastic budget cuts at key client Chevrolet and the departure of other accounts, they said.

Mark Benner, a spokesman for the Warren, Mich.-based agency, declined to confirm the figures, citing a long-standing policy to not comment on "forced adjustments due to scaled-down client work." He did note, though, that "all businesses are magnificently challenged by our economy, and that affects our business as well." As of January of this year, the shop employed about 1,300 individuals, Mr. Benner said.

Campbell-Ewald, which had revenues of nearly $240 million in 2007, per Advertising Age statistics, is one of several ad agencies that will be dealt a blow if the U.S. government decides not to bail out automakers.

A Chevy spokesman declined to comment on 2009 budget cuts and their impact on Campbell-Ewald.

Other challenges
Meanwhile, General Motors Corp.-owned Chevrolet hasn't been the agency's only challenge; a number of major accounts have fled in the past couple of years. Just this week, Farmers Insurance announced it would shift agency-of-record duties to independent Richards Group, Dallas. This summer, Michelin North America moved its account to Omnicom Group's TBWA without a review.

Those moves followCampbell-Ewald's loss of GM's AC Delco, National City and Bissell, which it resigned.

It also remains to be seen whether Campbell-Ewald can keep its U.S. Navy account, which it has had for about five years. The business is in the midst of a mandatory government review, and a decision is expected next year.

The agency did, however, recently pick up Minneapolis-based chain Buffalo Wild Wings' media business after a review.

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