Cone closes NY office, moves interactive

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.'

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