Advertising's Black Thursday: Layoffs, Spend Cuts, Hiring Freezes and Client Collapses Bedevil the Biz

Last Updated Dec 18, 2008 2:16 PM EST

1718881_7381402519.jpgIt will be a cold Xmas and a dark New Year for ad agency folks, as network chiefs, clients and analysts spent most of this week either firming up plans for job cuts or revising downward their already grim predictions for adspend in 2009. Even freelancers felt the chill, as WPP circulated a memo demanding their use be curbed. Among the developments:
Preliminary results for September show another month in which even our recently prepared forecasts for revenues have not been achieved ... even some of these markets [in Asia] now are feeling a dramatic change in fortunes ... We have noted that even in companies where there has been overall reduction in staffing, we have incurred a very significant cost in terms of recruitment agencies and/or freelancers ... freelance and temporary staff continue to be a poorly controlled cost in many of our companies ...
CFOs have been ordered to crack down on their use.
  • Magna Entertainment, one of the pioneers of the branded entertainment business, has folded.
Publicis Groupe media agency ZenithOptimedia said recently it expects U.S. ad spending down 3.8% in 2008 followed by a 6.2% drop in 2009. WPP's agency GroupM expects a 0.3% increase in spending this year followed by a 3% decline next year.
Image by Flickr user Snofla, CC.