Ketchum cuts staff in East Coast offices

Ketchum cut positions in its East Coast offices on Wednesday.

NEW YORK: Ketchum cut positions in its East Coast offices on Wednesday.

The agency laid off fewer than 20 employees, predominantly in New York and Washington, DC, said Barri Rafferty, CEO of North America at Ketchum.

"We did have some select staff reductions today in several of our North America offices," she said. "It was a pretty tiny percentage of our staff."

The job cuts were across staffing levels and were not due to any major client losses, Rafferty added.

"We have actually won several clients in the last couple weeks, including [public health foundation] Legacy," she said.

The agency, which has about 2,700 staffers worldwide, continues to hire and has posted a number of open positions on its website, Rafferty said.

"These decisions are never easy," she said. "To let individuals go is not something we arrived at lightly, and we definitely regret taking some of those actions, but at the same time we continue to perform well and we have some different needs right now."

Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty previously told PRWeek that the firm’s global revenue increased in the high single digits in 2013.

Last month, Nick Ragone, Ketchum’s former Washington, DC office leader, left the firm to join health system Ascension as CCO.

In May, Ketchum parent Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe decided to call off what would have been the biggest deal in marketing history, a $35 billion combination that would have made the merged Publicis-Omnicom Group the largest holding company in the world. The companies said in a joint statement that the decision was made "by mutual agreement, in view of difficulties in completing the transaction within a reasonable timeframe."  

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