Weber and GCI make new cuts in Bay area

SAN FRANCISCO: The Bay Area PR market continues to show signs of

strain as Weber Group and GCI Group made drastic changes to their local


Weber is closing its SF office and moving to the location currently

occupied by Red Whistle.

Donna Gibbs, GM of the firm's Western region, said the move is designed

to take advantage of lower real estate costs. Gibbs did confirm,

however, that staff reductions will be announced next week. In addition,

the e-business company Sybase has dropped Weber, its agency of record

since 1997.

"It became apparent we were in need of a change," said Rick Myllenbeck,

Sybase's senior director of PR. "Senior executives had lost some

confidence in Weber's ability to get some top tier stuff done, and I

wasn't getting the strategic support I needed to get Sybase moving


Myllenbeck said the company is looking at The Horn Group, Blanc & Otus

and Citigate Cunningham among others to take on the dollars 1 million


GCI Group laid off 22 people in SF in late June, primarily from its

health tech practice which will now be run from New York only.

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