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(July 25, 2001) -- Northlich, Cincinnati, is laying off 20 employees, or about 13% of its workforce of 150.

A spokeswoman cited general economic conditions. "We held out as long as we could in the current climate and probably longer than some other shops in town," she said.

The advertising, marketing services, consulting and public relations shop's clients include commercial products brands and new product development work for Procter & Gamble Co., H.J. Heinz Co.'s Starkist brand and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.'s Velamints brand.

Earlier this year, Northlich, Cincinnati's largest agency, called off a merger with Bridge Integrated Communications, the city's No. 2 shop, citing declines in the business environment.

Northlich, along with Bridge, are among 40 shops nationally involved in P&G's global consolidation review of interactive shops, which aims to pare the company's interactive roster to 20 by the end of calendar 2002. -- Jack Neff

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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