Just an Online Minute... Don't Blame the Dot-Coms
Coincidentally or not, an article on AdAge.com today tallied up the staff cuts at the major agencies and among those that have been trimming back are Mediacom, Lowe Lintas & Partners, BBDO North America, Fallon, Publicis & Hal Riney, and Y&R.
Although I sincerely sympathize with anyone who's ever been hit with a pink slip, it's time for a reality check on the agency side of the dot-com downturn. Is the disappearing dot- com ad revenue entirely the source of all evil?
Of course, layoffs are more prevalent in agencies where dot- coms made up a large portion of their business, but perhaps we've grown too sensitive to cutbacks and tend to blame everything on the dot-coms. It seems there are a few more reasons - those age-old agency happenings - client shifts, internal reorganizations, and client cutbacks in spending.
As AdAge reported, Y&R's layoffs were related to a corporate downsizing effort following the agency's acquisition by WPP. Lowe dropped staffers following their loss of the Burger King account. BBDO laid off at least 40 people in its flagship New York office in a cost-cutting move after BBDO won the business of DaimlerChrylser AG's Chrysler Group. And, according to the story, Fallon New York, laid off 10 people simply due to their poor performance on certain accounts.
Moreover, not everyone's cutting back. Interpublic's Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., said it is hiring and True North's Bozell, Chicago, said it was not planning any layoffs.
Dot-coms may be at fault for many a peril, but isn't the ad industry giving them too much credit?