Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ad agencies expecting big cuts soon

Madison Avenue is getting ready for some major staff cuts in the new year, with the prediction that total ad spending in 2009 will be down 5.7%.

After trimming jobs throughout the year, Madison Avenue is bracing for even bigger layoffs in 2009.

Ad executives and recruiters expect agencies, which have been cutting in dribs and drabs, to hand out a flurry of pink slips early next year as the ad downturn worsens.

The talk in industry circles is that the major agency holding companies - Interpublic, Omnicom and WPP - are planning deeper cuts to ring in the New Year.

"Close to 50 percent of agencies are owned by holding companies," said Joanne Davis, a longtime ad-industry consultant. "The public markets are putting pressure on these companies to perform."
Some of the ad agencies have recently created divisions to deal with shopper marketing and other in-store promotion. Perhaps they will finally be motivated to become seriously involved in the segment where most of the marketing budget is spent.

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