BBDO has gone through a round of layoffs across its U.S. offices, including BBDO New York CCO Greg Hahn and director of integrated production David Rolfe.
In a statement, BBDO president and CEO Andrew Robertson confirmed that the agency had implemented pay cuts, furloughs and layoffs as a result of the “profound effect on the economy” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
BBDO New York parted ways with between 75 and 99 employees, including Hahn and Rolfe, a source with knowledge of the agency’s operations told Adweek, in addition to implementing voluntary executive pay cuts and an unspecified number of furloughs. The New York office employed nearly 750, according to AdForum. Layoffs across other BBDO offices in the U.S. were roughly representative of the percentage of those cut in New York, which appears to be between 10% and 13%, according to this source, who added that those let go would receive health benefits through July.
The news follows an internal memo released earlier this week in which Omnicom CEO John Wren addressed a series of cost-cutting measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic including layoffs and furloughs across many Omnicom agencies.
“As John said in his note, this virus is having, and will continue to have, a profound effect on the economy, on our clients’ businesses, and therefore on ours. Nobody really knows how deep, how long, or how much time it will take to recover. And of course it varies to some degree by vertical and by market,” Robertson said in a statement.
“Instead of simply hoping for the best, and planning for that, we have taken a very hard look at what we think will happen in both the short and the medium term and taken measures, around the world, to prepare for those scenarios,” he continued, adding that it “means reshaping our agencies, both in terms of capacity, but also capability, to be competitive for what we think lies ahead. We’ve had to make some tough decisions on pay cuts, furloughs, and, regrettably, permanent reductions.”
BBDO promoted Hahn to creative vice chairman last October, taking on added responsibilities in addition to his chief creative role for the New York office. He was promoted to the CCO role for BBDO New York in 2013. Rolfe has served as director of integrated production for BBDO New York since 2012.