Dot-com flop causes yet another round of layoffs

BOSTON AND NEW YORK: Northeastern firms Brodeur and Shepardson

Stern + Kaminsky (SS+K) made layoffs last week as fallout from the

dot-com crash and slowing tech markets continued to spread.

Boston-based tech giant Brodeur let 20 of its staff members go,

including nine PR personnel, of which three were from its Boston office,

four were from its 32-person Phoenix, AZ staff and two were from its

15-person Provo, UT office. In addition, the firm laid off three

operational staff and eight from its Web development team in Boston.

Brodeur CEO Andy Carney said, 'Honestly, they weren't busy. We've had to

realign a lot over the last year. Our clients are very interested in

online support, so while we still do some Web work, the majority of our

future work is coming from online support.'

For Brodeur, the reduction is a small one, as the agency boasts a staff

of 800 in 53 offices spread throughout 32 countries. But it is

nonetheless an emotional one. Carney said the agency is looking for

opportunities to place laid-off staffers in other offices. 'We really

care about these people,' she said. 'We're trying our best to get them

squared away.'

SS+K, a small, independent PR and ad agency based in New York, laid off

three of its PR account staff, along with an undisclosed number - which

is said to be as great as 17 - of its advertising and creative


SS+K has lost a number of dot-com clients in recent months, including

Urbanfetch, which ceased its consumer operation last fall. SS+K

officials declined to discuss the layoffs, but instead issued a brief

statement that read in part, 'Unfortunately, every industry we service

is positioning itself for what is clearly a softening economy.

Consequently, we too must position ourselves for this economy without

hampering ongoing client service.'

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