It's another example of how layoffs in the ad business have been much more severe than the headlines would suggest. On the numbers provided by the NYT, IPG has axed almost 14 percent of its entire staff since the recession started. (It now has about 40,000 employees worldwide.)
The BNET Ad Agency Layoff Counter now stands at more than 45,000 jobs lost across the ad biz. Put another way, it's the equivalent of an entire international agency holding company the same size as IPG wiped off the face of the earth in the last year.
Some might say, Why should we care whether it's 5,100 or 5,500 jobs gone? They're about the same after all.
The answer is that future employment in the ad industry is partially dependent on agencies not laying people off. The more they add to the unemployment rolls, the longer the recession will be, and the fewer people agencies will be able to hire back. Here's why: More unemployed people means lower consumer spending. Lower consumer spending means lower sales for advertisers. And lower sales means less advertising, because advertisers often peg their ad budgets as a percentage of sales.
In November I asked whether the recovery was imminent or are we merely stopped at a landing on a still-descending staircase. Roth told the Times "worst is behind us." That's his opinion. But the numbers, for now, suggest the opposite.
- McCann Erickson Closes an Office: Drip, Drip, Drip of Bad News Continues
- Spot the Recovery: Advertising Revenues May Be Showing Signs of Life
- McCann Is Hemorrhaging Jobs and Clients, and CEO Dooner Needs to Name a Successor
- Why Ad Agencies Are Still Shedding Jobs Even Though "Recovery" Is Around the Corner
- Recovery Seen Across a Range of Advertising Media
- Layoffs at Ad Agencies Likely Much Worse Than Reported
- BNET's Ad Agency Layoff Counter: 45,215 Jobs Lost