INTERNATIONAL: B-M cuts back staff in Asian operations

ASIA: Burson-Marsteller has shed about 40 staff in its Hong Kong and Jakarta offices as a result of pressure from the economic meltdown in South East Asia, and the agency’s worldwide decision to focus on key markets.

ASIA: Burson-Marsteller has shed about 40 staff in its Hong Kong

and Jakarta offices as a result of pressure from the economic meltdown

in South East Asia, and the agency’s worldwide decision to focus on key

markets.



Both the Jakarta and Hong Kong operations have lost approximately 20

staff each, bringing total headcounts to six in Jakarta and over 50 in

Hong Kong.



Both operations have been affected by the collapse of South East Asia’s

economies, which have cut the local client base dramatically -

especially in Jakarta, where the Indonesian client base is now

minimal.



B-M’s parent company, Young and Rubicam, is to float this year, and the

PR agency is preparing by cutting its costs so as to improve its

financial shape. At the same time, B-M has shifted its worldwide

emphasis away from small local accounts to focus on large, international

clients, usually multinationals, which include Lever Brothers, Citibank

and Motorola.



Martin Langford, vice-chairman of B-M Asia Pacific, said: ’It’s not just

about the economic situation but a lot to do with how we’re focusing on

key client relationships and putting better resources into them. A lot

of the cuts have been of non-account-handling people, especially in Hong

Kong.’



Speculation has been rife in the region about the future of B-M’s Thai,

Malaysian, and Indonesian offices. Last month, the agency pulled out of

Adelaide following an agreement with its South Australian manager who

will run the agency independently, (PR Week 27 February).



- B-M has sold its operations in Hungary and the Czech Republic to the

general managers of each office. Michal Donath has acquired the Czech

interests and will rename it Donath/Burson-Marsteller. Julianna Gulden

now owns the Hungarian operation under the name of

Gulden/Burson-Marsteller.



The agencies will remain affiliates of B-M as well as retaining the B-M

name.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in