INTERNATIONAL: WSW streamlines brands and reveals job cuts plan

NEW YORK: Weber Shandwick Worldwide has unveiled its US line-up,

trimming brands and clarifying the agency's leadership structure

following its recent merger with True North's BSMG.



WSW has also simultaneously released projected staff numbers for 2001,

which reveal a tranche of staff cuts due to the technology industry

slowdown.



Following a meeting of around 200 of the agency's senior staff, WSW has

announced a line-up of ten key brands that will be maintained following

the merger, many of which will add the WSW moniker to their own. These

include Rogers & Cowan, Benjamin Group, Cassidy and Financial Relations

Board (FRB).



WSW chief executive Harris Diamond said: 'It's about being able to pull

together the intellectual capital from each area. However, we also had

to consider the value of brands such as Rogers & Cowan and FRB in

particular markets.'



US appointments include BSMG's Andy Polansky to be president and CEO of

the eastern states, and Barbara Molotsky to hold the same office for the

central states, and WSW's Tom Tardio to lead the western region.



The consumer practice will report to Molotsky, entertainment to Tardio,

and technology and healthcare to Polansky.



Donni Case, president of BSMG-owned FRB, will lead IR and report to

Polansky.



Former BSMG chief Joe Kessler has been re-hired to run the global tech

practice. BSMG's Laura Schoen will run global healthcare.



But, like other firms, WSW has also had to tackle the issue of staff

cuts.



In a WSW fact-sheet dated 27 February 2001, the agency stated it had

3,000 employees worldwide.



In recent PRWeek US agency rankings published earlier this year, BSMG

stated it had 1,092 employees.



The combined entity, however, will have around 3,000 employees, leaving

roughly 1,000 unaccounted for.



Diamond would not talk about specific numbers, but said that the merger

itself has resulted in staff cuts of less than five per cent.



Senior sources said the remaining reduction in staff numbers was due to

shrinking revenues in the tech and financial sectors.



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