Yet another US agency cut back its workforce as DDB Worldwide yesterday embarked upon a program of layoffs at its New York and Chicago offices.

Around 8% to 10% of the 450 employees in New York are being shown the door, with the cuts falling across all departments. The exact number has not yet been determined, although the agency commented that “it will probably be less than 10 percent.”

The decision was blamed on “a general softening of the economic climate across the country,” despite the fact that DDB New York recently won around $355 million of new business from clients such as Philips, Hasbro and Merck [WAMN: 28-Nov-00; 22-Dec-00; 20-Feb-01].

“It’s outrageous,” commented one bitter insider, who revealed that employees had not been informed of the cuts. “People are just going up to each other and saying goodbye.”

Meanwhile, DDB Chicago, which is axing 28 jobs (3.5% of its 800-strong workforce), blamed the weak economy and “a reduction in ad spending by our current clients.” The office also attributed the layoffs to the recent losses of the General Mills and Energizer e2 accounts [WAMN: 08-May-01; 31-May-01].

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