Yesterday two Omnicom agencies, BBDO and Goodby Silverstein & Partners, announced layoffs following the loss of major accounts Gillette and Chevrolet, respectively.
While BBDO hasn’t commented apart from characterizing the cuts as “significant and across departments,” GS&P co-founder Jeff Goodby released his internal memo explaining the firings.
The note tells staff:
You’ve heard the financial reasons for reducing our staff. I just want to talk a bit about the human side of it all.
Please be assured: No one takes this process lightly.
As we often say, advertising is all about people and accounts. David Ogilvy wrote, “The assets go up and down in our elevator every day.” It is so true. We value our people, and our humanistic environment, more than anything.
Strangely, that’s why, when we lose business or have cuts in fee, it is important to react thoughtfully, but expeditiously. Companies that don’t are not prepared for the future, and they don’t serve the people who are still on staff. They endanger present and future jobs.
We are optimistic about our plan to move forward, in terms of serving present accounts and getting new ones, and will share details next week. But we are also thankful for and deeply appreciative of the contributions of people who are leaving.
We will do everything to find them new situations. And if history is any indication, we will find ourselves welcoming some of them back in the future.
Thanks for your patience about all this.
The line about finding recently laid off staff new jobs might not be all talk. When hundreds of GS&P employees lost their jobs in February 2012, Goodby alum JD Beebe made a website that was dedicated to showing off the recent freelancers’ talents and placing them in new agencies.
While there aren’t official numbers, sources told Agency Spy that the current layoff numbers might have ranged from 50-100 people.
This isn’t the first Jeff Goodby note to get leaked this month regarding employees jobs.
Three days ago, Goodby sent a memo regarding the dissolution of Commonwealth, a joint venture between GS&P and McCann to do work for General Motors’ Chevy.
His letter read:
As you will see in the press release, McCann and Chevy have promised to offer everyone at Commonwealth a chance to stay in his or her job.
You will come to work in the same place, and work with the same people, for the foreseeable future. This is good.
But as today’s news tells us, not all was well for staff outside of Detroit.
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