ST. LOUIS: Fleishman-Hillard is cutting staff across North America due to actual or forecasted declines in certain markets, according to Dave Senay, president and CEO of the firm.
In an e-mailed statement to PRWeek, Senay said the total percentage of staff reductions "are in low single digits, with some markets seeing no reductions." The reductions include both layoffs and a smaller portion of employees that were moved to part-time including six in New York.
"Most of these markets are in North America, and as a result we are reducing staff in some locations," reads the statement. "We regret taking this action, because it impacts dedicated and talented people whose work we value. However, given the global economic decline, this is a necessary step."
Senay declined to identify the titles or all of the locations where the cuts are being made. However it includes nine in Canada, 13 in Kansas City, and eight in New York. The firm has not implemented a hiring or salary freeze, although he said the agency continues to review the situation monthly.
Senay maintains that the firm is still performing despite the cuts.
“We have not lost any major clients; spending has simply slowed,” he said. “Also, our new business efforts are producing at or near last year's level, which is promising.”
Fleishman is a part of Omnicom Group, which recently announced a 10.2% decline in Q4 PR revenues to about $305 million. Since Fleishman made its announcement, fellow Omnicom agency Ketchum has cut 20 staffers in North America.
Updated February 26, 2009, 3:27pm