The Leith Agency is undergoing a restructure that could see up to nine roles across the agency made redundant in order to make the business “fit for purpose” in 2018, managing director Richard Marsham has confirmed.
The Edinburgh-based agency, best-known for its Irn-Bru advertising, has so far cut one position and is in discussions with a further eight people regarding their future roles in the company. This is part of an “ongoing process” into the structure of the agency, which Marsham has said was “wrong”, with too many people in the wrong roles at wrong levels.
Names and roles of those being reviewed were not provided, but Marsham said the people being spoken to were from different departments and functions across the agency.
Instead, the agency will be looking to recruit six additional people in roles where it sees “bigger potential for growth”.
“The conversations we are currently having are more about getting the agency fit for purpose in 2018 and making sure we have the right people at the right levels in the right positions,” Marsham said.
“So whilst reluctantly we may lose some people in some roles, we are also looking to recruit new people with different skill sets where we see growth potential,” he added.
The agency has been victim of slowing client spend as the trend towards in-housing accelerates. Marsham confirmed the agency’s client income has “marginally declined” this year versus 2016, which was its record year for trading in its 33-year history.
An employee of the agency who wished to remain anonymous expressed concerns that the redundancies did not include any of the agency’s board members, who represent 10% of the total headcount. Leith Agency currently has eight people on its board, however Marsham revealed that one member is being redeployed at the start of 2018 to lead a new division within Cello Signal.
“When looking at the restructure of the agency we looked at everybody in every position, whether they were on the board or not, and the simple criteria we applied to everybody was how do they fit against what clients expect us to deliver and how we want to work as an agency going forward,” Marsham said. “A board of seven within a company of 78 people is what we deem to be appropriate.”
The Leith restructure follows six redundancies that were allegedly made at sister agency Signal Edinburgh in October. The two agencies sit within Cello Signal Group, a division of parent company Cello Group.
Signal was formed over a year ago by the merging of Cello’s three agencies, Blonde Digital, Tangible and Instinctiv. At the time the group said the decision to consolidate the agencies was due to clients wanting “less agencies that can do more”.
Leith Agency is set to move to new offices in Commercial Quay to join other companies within the Cello Signal Group. However, Leith and Signal will continue to operate as separate entities and separate brands on different floors within the new building, despite being part of a single P&L.