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
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,'
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
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