Omnicom to reduce staff, PR firms not reporting huge losses

NEW YORK: Omnicom Group plans to reduce its workforce by less than 5%, but a number of its PR firms said they do not have major staff layoffs in the works. The "current economic conditions" were cited as the reason for the review of staffing.

NEW YORK: Omnicom Group plans to reduce its workforce by less than 5%, but a number of its PR firms said they do not have major staff layoffs in the works. The “current economic conditions” were cited as the reason for the review of staffing.

In a statement, Pat Sloan, Omnicom's SVP and corporate director of public affairs, confirmed that “less than 5% of total workforce numbers” will be affected and that “some, but not all,” of its companies “will have to make adjustments.”

Earlier this week, Advertising Age reported that the holding company, which takes in a majority of its revenues from ad agencies, would cut about 5% of its 70,000 global workforce.

When asked about the report, Fleishman-Hillard president and CEO Dave Senay said in a statement that his Omnicom agency has “no current plan for a major staff cutback.”

He added that Fleishman has been “managing our employment levels carefully since spring, reducing staffing where needed to match business levels.”

At sister Omnicom firm Ketchum, Marv Gellman, VP and director of media relations, also said, “No cutbacks are planned for Ketchum.” Two other Omnicom firms, Gavin Anderson & Company and GPlus, also said they are not reducing staffers. However, Nigel Gardener, chairman and cofounder of GPlus, said the company had seen some client scalebacks and losses in sectors like automotive, and has put a salary and hiring freeze in place.

When asked if the Omnicom layoffs would disproportionately affect advertising agencies, Sloan responded, “I do not have a breakdown... It's across disciplines.”

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