Ketchum makes several layoffs across North America

The Omnicom firm let go a number of staffers in mid-July, after reviewing client needs.

Barri Rafferty
Barri Rafferty

NEW YORK: Ketchum has laid off staffers across numerous offices in North America.

Ketchum partner and president Barri Rafferty told PRWeek via email that the firm made the "difficult decision" to let several staffers go in mid-July, after reviewing client needs. She did not elaborate on exactly how many people and who specifically was let go.

"Employees ranging from administrative assistant to senior vice president were affected by the changes," she said. "We regret having to take these actions. We greatly value these individuals and have provided them with financial assistance to support them as they look for another position."

Ketchum remains committed, she added, to its employees, providing them with learning and development opportunities and "interesting" work assignments.

"We also will continue to add talent who bring specialized expertise to help our clients meet their business goals," Rafferty said.

Ketchum owner Omnicom Group’s PR firms experienced a revenue drop of 0.3% in the second quarter of 2017, to $342.6 million.

Omnicom CEO John Wren said on the holding company’s second-quarter earnings call that it is "adjusting some of the leadership" in its PR firms after a disappointing Q2. He noted that PR firms need "more hunters and fewer farmers" in top jobs.

In 2016, Ketchum saw solid growth across existing clients and a record new business year, chairman and CEO Rob Flaherty told PRWeek in May.

Diversified Agency Services, the Omnicom unit containing its PR firms, recorded organic revenue growth of 2.8% in calendar year 2016 — an improvement on its 1.4% dip in 2015. Ketchum grew organically in the mid-single digits.

This story was updated on August 3 to correct Flaherty's title.

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