BOSTON: Cone is the latest agency to announce restructuring,
layoffs and closures, citing a lopsided economy as cause to reevaluate
offices and practice groups.
The firm will shutter its four-year-old, nine-person New York office in
June. The interactive practice that was based there will now be merged
into its Boston-based marketing, PR and cause-branding practices. Susan
Pechman, founder of the interactive practice and New York general
manager, will leave the company.
However, said Cone in a statement, job losses in New York will be offset
by open positions at other Cone offices, so overall agency staff will
remain at 85 people. New York staffers were encouraged to apply for
openings within Cone and at other agencies in the Omnicom group.
Also in its restructuring announcement, Cone revealed it has opened an
office in Washington, DC. The six-person outpost has been open for two
to three months and earned dollars 1 million in new business by
concentrating on non-profit and government-related clients.
Denise Keyes, former VP of marketing at Points of Light Foundation, is
managing the office.
Mike Lawrence, Cone EVP, said the agency's business remains strong in
consumer, cause branding, internal communications and b-to-b. However,
interactive and dot-com business is weak.
'The structure of our company, as with any company in PR, has to focus
on growth opportunities,' said Lawrence. 'Things are not going backwards
in staff, they're not going backwards in revenues. It's just different
in that there is a recession in one place and an expansion in another.'