London agency Grant Butler Coomber (GBC) has lost a third of its
staff as the economic downturn bites.
Founder Jill Coomber described speculation that the firm had lost up to
half its work force as 'highly spurious', but conceded that 18 of the 57
staff declared for the purposes of the PRWeek Top 150 league table (27
April) have departed and not been replaced.
'We got ahead of ourselves in recruiting support staff in HR and
finance', admitted Coomber. 'We're such an ambitious agency that when
everyone was struggling to find staff last year we recruited ahead of
demand,' she said.
Seven support staff have now left the firm and Coomber admitted: 'We had
agreed to recruitment we couldn't support.'
The hardest hit PR unit is the firm's business division. The agency put
together a dot.com team that 'actively went out to pursue new business.'
With the downturn in the technology sector, five members of the team,
which numbered 14 in December, have left the firm and not been replaced,
although none of them were made redundant, she insisted.