BCW eliminates 14 positions due to client pullback

The dozen-plus job cuts took place in New York, Memphis and on the West Coast.

BCW CEO Donna Imperato
BCW CEO Donna Imperato

NEW YORK: BCW has laid off 14 staffers in reaction to shifting demands and declining budgets from clients. 

The job reductions took place on both coasts and in the firm’s Memphis office. 

“Our Memphis satellite office was started in 2011 to service the FedEx business locally. Due to client priorities, that business recently moved to our Pittsburgh office,” the WPP firm said in an emailed statement. “Unfortunately, we have had to say goodbye to six loyal and talented colleagues in Memphis.” 

The WPP firm also eliminated six roles in New York and two on the West Coast due to “select client budget decreases.” The firm did not say which West Coast office was affected or whether the budget cutbacks were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

BCW had 4,160 employees in 2019, according to the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2020, including 1,620 in the U.S. 

In May, BCW folded its entertainment shop BWR into BCW Entertainment. An undisclosed number of BWR staffers left the agency during that move. 

Last month, fellow WPP shop Hill+Knowlton Strategies said it was reducing staff by less than 5% globally in response to the pandemic economy. H+K had 2,250 employees globally and 450 in the U.S. last year, according to the PRWeek Agency Business Report.

In April, WPP began introducing a wide range of cost-cutting and cash-saving measures in response to COVID-19, such as freezing hires, reviewing freelance spending and postponing planned salary increases. More than 3,000 employees with salaries above a certain threshold committed to giving up 10% to 20% of their salary for an initial three-month period.

BCW’s revenue grew 1% last year to $720 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2020. WPP’s PR division revenue declined 1.4% in Q1. The holding company’s PR firms include H+K, BCW, Finsbury and Buchanan. 

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