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Clients cut back - then Ogilvy targets 'lack of skills' as 60 are axed


By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 10, 2012 | 2 min read

The Ogilvy Group is laying off nearly 60 people in the US largely because clients have cut back on spending.

Ogilvy cuts jobs in US

Those in the firing line include "staffers who lack digital and mobile marketing skills," said Ogilvy.

And in another clue as to which way the chill wind is blowing, Ogilvy North American chairman John Seifert, told Adweek they were looking at the balance between annual fixed staffing plans and on-demand project work.

"The balance is shifting in favor of on-demand project work, ” he said

More than two-thirds of the layoffs (42) are in New York, with the remaining 16 coming from Ogilvy's four West Coast offices (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and Denver).

Before the cut, those offices employed about 2,300 staffers. The 58 positions represent about 3 percent of the total staff.

Clients spent less than expected in the final quarter of last year and have trimmed their budgets for 2012, said Adweek.

Ogilvy didn't say which clients have tightened their belts, but the WPP Group agency works for IBM, American Express, Unilever, UPS, BP and Cisco among others.

“First-half spending from the client spending [budgets for 2012] that we’ve been given so far is very cautious," Seifert told the mag..

"So, we are reducing the percentage of new business that we would typically put into a budget.”

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