Cohn & Wolfe closes Chicago office because of poor performance

CHICAGO: Cohn & Wolfe is shuttering its Chicago office and trying

to place the location's 11 employees with other WPP agencies.



Sister agencies with Chicago offices are Burson-Marsteller, Hill &

Knowlton and Ogilvy.



The move comes on the heels of 30 other company-wide layoffs (PRWeek,

April 23).



Chicago clients are being contacted to see if their business can be

transferred to other C&W offices or WPP agencies, said Steve Aiello, C&W

president.



The agency's 11-year-old Chicago office had not been meeting company

expectations recently. 'That market never performed as well as some of

our other offices,' admitted Aiello.



The office had revenues of about dollars 3 million in 1998 and dollars

2.5 million in 1999. In early 2000, Rose Ann Anschuetz left as head of

the office after disagreeing with Aiello on its future growth

possibilities. She since has become head of the local Publicis Dialog

office.



At the time of Anschuetz's departure, Aiello spoke of the possibility of

buying Chicago PR shops to increase the firm's presence in the crowded

market, but other firms, such as Publicis, grabbed up local independents

instead.



This February, Stuart Wilson and Ann Adams became the office's

co-general managers. Jim Kaplove, C&W CFO, said at the time that the

office would try to gain new business in food, hospitality and b-to-b

tech.



Last month, the office picked up a low-six-figure account from Lifeway

Foods, a beverage company. Other clients include Lipton and Wishbone.



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