The devastating effects of coronavirus COVID-19 continue to impact agencies across the United States. Ogilvy, which has 132 offices in 82 countries, is the latest agency to go through a series of layoffs and furloughs in the United States. The agency has 10,000 employees according to Linkedin.
In a statement, an Ogilvy spokesperson confirmed that the agency had taken actions across its U.S. offices, including “implementing reduced workweeks, furloughs and limited staff reductions.”
“Over the past several weeks, we have heard repeatedly from clients how our people have helped make their brands matter when it matters most. Like many other businesses, we have felt the economic impact of this global pandemic and have had to make difficult decisions that impact our people,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ve worked to balance our desire to protect jobs with our ability to best lead clients through this crisis and ensure the long-term success of the company.”
The cost-cutting reportedly leaned more toward reduced work schedules and furloughs. The report from AgencySpy, who broke the news, said reductions were made across all departments and offices. Ogilvy is extending employee healthcare coverage in line with what other agencies have done
In addition, executives took voluntary pay cuts. The WPP agency has also implemented hiring freezes and reduced budgets for freelancers. and is aiding in talent placement elsewhere in the WPP network where possible, this source added.
The Martin Agency
IPG company, The Martin Agency has confirmed the shop has reduced its staff numbers.
In a statement, The Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo emphasized that the agency has produced work for 88% of its clients over the last six weeks and pivoted the kind of work it is providing for clients to address their evolving needs.
Read Cavello’s full statement:
In the last six weeks, we’ve produced work for 88% of our clients—an astounding feat at any time, but more so under these constraints. We have many clients that are lifelines or welcome interruptions right now, and have had reasons to engage. Our clients have noticed the work we’re creating across the Martin portfolio and some are changing what they pay us for. We are shifting to heavy up in areas like PR, animation, digital and strategy as clients plan their next move and the demand for inventive productions has skyrocketed. We are in a variable business and our workforce is built based on client scopes and future needs. When those change, our staff composition changes. Parting ways with a small number of employees was not born out of financial duress or suspended campaigns, but evolving scopes. There hasn’t been a one-size-fits-all solution for anything happening across our industry during these unpredictable times. Our job is to propel forward in good times and bad, and we will continue to do our best to weigh all decisions with a balance of head and heart.
An agency representative for Johannes Leonardo has said that less than 10% of staff was impacted last week by a round of layoffs and furloughs. The agency reported just under 200 employees at the end of 2019.
The staffing reduction follows Volkswagen creative lead Jimm Lasser last month. Lasser joined the shop in June after Volkswagen named Johannes Leonardo lead creative agency in February of 2019.
“No one has been above the profound impact that Covid-19 has had on our industry, including us. As such, we have had to make adjustments in order to react to the changing needs of our business,” Johannes Leonardo president Bryan Yasko said in a statement. “Unfortunately there was no scenario forward without making the impossible decision to say goodbye to some of our valued employees. We want to thank all of those impacted for their incredible contribution to our agency.”
The agency representative detailed that severance packages included medical insurance coverage for three months and mental health services. Johannes Leonardo is also offering outplacement services to most employees impacted at no cost.