Firefly blames downturn as 11 staff face axe

Tech agency Firefly has been forced to shed almost ten per cent of

its staff following a series of client cutbacks in response to the

economic downturn.



Eleven London-based staff - two account directors, two campaign

managers, two consultants and five support staff - have been axed. The

company is left with 101 staff in London, seven in France, six in

Scotland, and two in Germany.



Agency MD Claire Walker said: 'In the summer, clients started

disappearing and cutting back. Our fee income dropped 25 per cent over a

four or five-month period as a result of the economic downturn and we

found ourselves with more people than we could justify.'



'Clients are nervous, but we feel it has stabilised and we can look

ahead with reserved confidence. It is one of those times when you have

to let your head rule your heart and do what is right for the company,'

she added.



Walker said 16 clients had cut back or ceased spending with the firm,

which was voted Consultancy of the Year at last year's PRWeek

awards.



Among those who had cut their spending completely were Japanese bank

Nomura, internet consultancy Oyster and dot.com firm Moonfruit.



Firefly has won a PR account from telecoms and networking company Avaya

following a competitive pitch against the incumbent GBC.



Avaya, the New York-quoted Lucent Technologies spin-off, last week

created a PR role beneath UK and Ireland PR head Neil Pattie, and handed

it to Daniel Bausor, formerly ICL's European PR manager and head of

corporate comms for ICL's rebranding as Fujitsu.



The agency reports to Bausor and Pattie and is being asked to raise

Avaya's profile in the trade and business media, and support the

organisation's sponsorship of the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup football

championships.



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