Enfatico Is Dead: Senior Execs Laid Off; Y&R Takes Lead; Commemorative Hitler Video Aired

Last Updated Oct 6, 2009 4:44 PM EDT

Enfatico is dead: Five senior account executives have been laid off, the agency is no longer AOR on Dell (that's now Y&R), WPP chief Martin Sorrell agrees it "went wrong," and the entire topic is now the subject of a YouTube Hitler parody video (see below) -- which all but makes it official. According to the Austin Business Journal:
Enfatico has laid off the following key executives: Ken Segall, NY-chief creative officer; John Steinert, NY-chief CRM lead; David Meer, chief analytics officer; Alex Eisenberg, Austin-small/medium business lead account director; and Josh Sklar, Austin â€" digital creative director.
... These cuts, Sklar said, will position Y&R to undertake Dell's creative and communication strategy duties, while utilizing Enfatico for production duties.
So that's it: Enfatico is now a sort of vestigial back-office for Y&R production. Both AgencySpy and Adscam had reported that things at Enfatico were reaching some sort of flux point, with layoffs occuring through last week and Y&R New York and Wunderman taking the lead role on the account.

Two things: There's an argument to be made that Sorrell has actually rescued this business, not ruined it. It was Dell's own (now departed) client execs who wanted their own agency. And despite everyone (except Dell) knowing it would be a disaster, the business has been successfully retained by Y&R Brands.

Second, to give you an idea of the level of delusion at Enfatico over the last six months look closely at this story BNET published in April. You'll note that the headline was toned down (at Enfatico's request). The original headline, "Enfatico Is Dead; Wrapped Into Y&R," can still be seen in the URL. Given that my original interpretation of the Enfatico/Y&R move was in fact accurate, will I be getting a corrective note in return from Enfatico? Probably not. Last time I spoke to someone from that agency the word was Y&R was "in the driver's seat."

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