NEW YORK In one of the deepest cutbacks yet in the recession-ravaged agency business, Doner today confirmed laying off 100 employees, or about 12 percent of its staff. The agency said the cuts were made as it moves to reposition itself for the future.
The Southfield, Mich.-based shop said the layoffs were motivated by client ad spending reductions and the imminent departures of two key clients, Expedia and PNC Bank. Both of those companies are holding reviews in which Doner is not participating. Expedia spent almost $60 million in major media last year while PNC spending is estimated at $100 million.
Changes in the media landscape — as marketers increasingly gravitate toward digital channels and platforms — also drove the need to shed employees.
Confirming the cuts that took place this week, Doner CEO Alan Kalter said about half of the 100 came from the shop’s media department, with most of those being spot TV buyers and support staff. The other cuts came from various departments throughout the agency, he said.
On the flip side, Kalter said, Doner has hired more than a dozen staffers with digital expertise in both creative and media over the past year. ‘We’ve looked very hard at our business model over the past couple of months,” he said. “We now believe we have a structure in place that makes sense.”