Golin institutes layoffs in response to COVID-19

Fellow Interpublic Group firm Weber Shandwick also eliminated positions this week.

Golin CEO Matt Neale
Golin CEO Matt Neale

CHICAGO: Golin has confirmed that it cut staff in response to the pandemic economic crunch. 

“This week, we have unfortunately had to remove some full-time positions. The total number of job losses at Golin is under 25 staff worldwide,” the agency said in a statement. The agency had 1,700 employees globally and 850 in the U.S. last year, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2020

The firm took other cost-cutting measures in prior weeks, including salary cuts for executives and furloughs in select markets, it said in a statement. The agency declined to specify which executives are taking pay cuts, the percentage eliminated or what regions have been affected. 

Sister Interpublic Group agency Weber Shandwick also began layoffs and other cost-cutting measures this week, with the firm’s global workforce reduced by about 4%, mostly in North America and larger EMEA offices. In 2019, Weber had 4,865 staffers, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report, some 2,980 of them located in the U.S.

Golin and Weber are part of IPG’s Constituency Management Group, along with DeVries Global, Current Global, Rogers & Cowan/PMK and the Axis Agency. CMG also houses marketing specialist firms such as Jack Morton, FutureBrand and Octagon. 

CMG chairman and CEO Andy Polansky did not immediately respond to requests for comment about whether all CMG shops have been told to reduce staff. 

Asked if the holding company has ordered staffing changes, an IPG spokesperson said, “Our companies are experiencing varied impacts.” 

“[The impacts are] dependent on their geographic footprint, their mix of services, as well as whether they have greater concentration of existing clients in the most impacted sectors,” the spokesperson said. “As such, decisions are happening at the company level.”

The spokesperson also pointed to a statement IPG chairman and CEO Michael Roth made when the company released its Q1 earnings results in April, saying that “there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the appropriate combination of cost actions.”

Golin’s revenue grew 3% to $223.5 million in 2019, according to the Agency Business Report. CMG’s PR firms saw low-single-digit growth organically and on an as-reported basis in Q1, Polansky said. 

As a whole, CMG posted revenue of $307.6 million in Q1, up 3.7% organically from last year. Organic growth represents change in revenue without taking into account the impact of acquisitions or disposals. 

IPG’s reported net revenue was $1.97 billion, down 1.6% from the prior year on an as-reported basis, but representing organic net revenue growth of 0.3%. Net income was $4.7 million, compared with a loss of $8 million a year ago.

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