Cutbacks multiply at firms across US

NEW YORK, SAN FRANCISCO & LOS ANGELES: A number of PR agencies that

recently announced layoffs have bumped up the number of jobs on the

chopping block.

Ogilvy, which slashed nearly 70 positions from its tech ranks in

February, last week issued 30-40 pink slips across its practice areas,

at least 24 of which were at its New York headquarters, says one


CEO Bob Seltzer confirmed the additional layoffs, necessitated by an

office-by-office analysis. 'There were a few offices needed to finish

our right-sizing process,' he said.

Burson-Marsteller, hit hard by its loss of the giant Sun Microsystems

account last week, has laid off 20 of the 60 people who had been working

on the business. The other 40 have been redeployed, explained EVP Peter

Himler. In November, Burson slashed 5% of its work force, although this

was seen as a fat-trimming exercise rather than the result of the recent

tech slump.

San Francisco-based Blanc & Otus, which just last week confirmed it had

eliminated seven positions in its Silicon Valley office, this week told

PRWeek that it had upped the number to 31, or 15% of the overall work


Finally, Los Angeles' The Bohle Company, which let eight go in early

March, reduced its work force by another 10 positions last week.

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