Around one hundred redundancies at Young & Rubicam will be instigated by WPP Group before the year end – most in corporate roles such as human resources, purchasing, legal, finance and IT.

Y&R subsidiaries are expected to suffer a similar fate. In the firing line are businesses such as Media Edge; cross-cultural agencies Bravo Group and Kang & Lee; PR specialists Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe; design shop Partners; healthcare agency Sudler & Henessey; and UK technology shop Banner Corp.

According to an internal email written by WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell shortly after completion of the acquisition this summer: “All these 'tribes' are warmly welcomed both because of their successful records and their distinctive brand strengths. The only dangers are the familiar ones – overconfidence, arrogance, bureaucracy and lack of responsiveness to clients.” The email failed to mention the R-word.

Although job losses were expected given the hints dropped by Sorrell (to say nothing of his track record following the hostile purchase of Ogilvy & Mather in 1989) the scale of his axe-swinging has surprised many – especially its descent on Y&R’s core advertising business.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)