Text 100 layoffs result after clients cut back

NEW YORK: Text 100 has conducted "moderate" layoffs following a series of budget cuts from several clients.

NEW YORK: Text 100 has conducted "moderate" layoffs following a series of budget cuts from several clients.

Scott Friedman, regional director for Text 100 North America, declined to state the number of employees that were laid-off but confirmed it was below 15. The cutbacks will be distributed across the firm's five North American offices, located in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, and Rochester, NY. Following the layoffs, Text 100 will employ about 135 people in North America, he said.

Text 100's clients include Xerox, IBM, and Cisco, but Friedman declined to name which clients had reduced their budgets.

“It's not one specific client,” he told PRWeek. “It's a cumulative effect from a few different clients. The impact on us has been to immediately look to reduce expenses.”

Carl Langsenkamp, VP of global PR at Xerox, declined to comment on the company's budget. But he told PRWeek, “We have a very strong relationship with Text 100, and they are our AOR.” Cisco and IBM also declined comment.

Friedman noted this is the agency's first round of layoffs this year. Although the agency had been bracing for a downturn all year, 2009 budgets prompted the layoffs.

“I hope we've seen the worst of it,” Friedman said. ”And that the moves we've made will hopefully help us weather whatever else might come.”

Tim Dyson, CEO of Text's parent company Next Fifteen, told PRWeek that no layoffs are planned in North America for its other firms - Bite Communications and OutCast Communications. Bite UK recently laid off several staff members, he confirmed.

Despite no planned cutbacks, Clive Armitage, CEO of Bite Communications, offered a cautious outlook.

“Given the current economic conditions, the future is definitely uncertain,” he said.

Updated 6:30pm, December 11, 2008

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