Dome slices staff, seeks to diversify as ConAgra slows

Chicago: Dome Communications, known as one of the fastest growing agencies in Chicago, has run into the first major setback in its six-year existence, laying off 15 of its 88 staffers. The cuts came because of a slowdown in work from major client ConAgra Foods.

Chicago: Dome Communications, known as one of the fastest growing agencies in Chicago, has run into the first major setback in its six-year existence, laying off 15 of its 88 staffers. The cuts came because of a slowdown in work from major client ConAgra Foods.

Dome revenues grew almost 100% last year, and founder Doug Dome expected - and staffed up for - a similar increase this year. But cutbacks from ConAgra throughout the year mean the firm likely will see a smaller revenue growth of 40% to 50% this year, Dome said.

"I had to make an adjustment," he said. "As a result of ConAgra Foods cutbacks, our aggressive growth, while still very aggressive, was curtailed."

Dome has been working to diversify his firm's business outside the food sector. New clients this year include AT&T Wireless and Bank One.

Dome ranked 16th in PRWeek's 2003 agency ranking with revenues last year of $10 million, compared with $5.2 million in 2001. The agency had 60 staffers at the end of 2002.

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