Job Cuts Due to Declining Revenues

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The New York office of WPP Group-owned advertising agency Y&R, part of Young & Rubicam Brands, yesterday laid off 10% of its staff in response to a decline in revenues, a spokeswoman for the agency said today.

Several executives familiar with the agency said the 45 employees were cut, but the spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny the number. The layoffs affected workers at all levels and in all departments, she said.

The New York office employed approximately 350 people prior to the cut, according to one executive.

10-year agency veterans
According to one executive familiar with Y&R, some staff who had worked at the agency for over a decade were let go, as were those whose tenure was less than a year.

The job cuts were widely expected; the New York office has lost some of its larger accounts, such as that of Computer Associates, in the past year, or has seen some of its clients dramatically reduce spending, as in the case of AT&T, which stopped marketing to consumers. While Y&R is a contender is at least one large ongoing review -- that of the U.S. Army, with billings of $200 million -- the agency has not reeled in accounts of a significant size to sustain current staff levels in New York.

Agency-wide meeting planned
Mary Maroun, a former TBWA/Chiat/Day executive who joined Y&R this summer as managing partner in charge of the New York office, has called an agency-wide meeting for 3 p.m. today to address the staff.

Y&R is part of Young & Rubicam Brands, headed by Ann Fudge, who in the past 20 months has undertaken a review of the agency's operational processes in an attempt to streamline and increase the agency's efficiency. One executive inside Y&R said the cuts were likely to be presented by management as part of both cost-reductions and a strategy to "upgrade and refresh" the agency's staff.

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