Technology: Bite makes redundancies

Some observers believe tech PR is more exposed to the global economic turmoil.

Bite Communications has said it will make an unspecified number of redundancies in response to the global economic downturn.

The tech agency's MD Kath Pooley confirmed that a consultation period was under way for some staff.

It is understood that at least four roles are being made redundant and that the agency's consumer team will be hit. This week it emerged that one of Bite's consumer clients, the software giant Symantec, was putting its account out to pitch. Bite is repitching for the work.

Pooley would not comment on how many job cuts there would be but said Bite would be looking at the client- services and operations teams.

Pooley said the redundancies reflected a general sense that client budgets are under pressure. 'The quicker you take action on these decisions, however hard it is, the better it is for the business,' she said.

She added that she would try to find positions at other Next Fifteen agencies, such as Text100 and Inferno, for the staff who lose their jobs.

The Bite redundancies follow Waggener Edstrom's decision to make 10 per cent of its UK staff redundant (PRWeek, 20 November).

Jonathan Hughes, Golin Harris co-MD for Europe, said the tech PR industry could be more at risk than other sectors. 'Tech is naturally more exposed to the US market, and the US has slowed faster than Europe,' he said.

But Tamara Millard-Beer, director of Fleishman-Hillard's UK tech practice, said the redundancies at Wag Ed and Bite reflected patterns across the entire PR industry.

Millard-Beer said the tech PR sector could weather the economic storm as it had learned from the 2001 dotcom crash.

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