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Spot Runner Lays Off Another 60; Project Malibu Still A Major Priority

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Online and TV ad agency SpotRunner let go another 60 staffers on Friday, Techcrunch reported and paidContent confirmed. The Los Angeles digital ad shop laid off 115 employees back in November and 50 others were pink slipped in August.

A Spot Runner rep says that the cuts were made to better withstand the recession, operating on the view that the economy is not expected to turn around until late 2010. The company insists that it has no plans to close down additional divisions and Spot Runner's core focus as a tech platform business for TV and online video ads hasn't changed. It will continue to maintain its two divisionsMarketing Services and Media Platformsto support that.  The company has seen efforts to attract more local advertisers diminish as smaller merchants simply aren't advertising to the degree they were before and are pulling back their budgets. And so, the latest cuts reflect a winding down of its outbound sales for the local platform business. Following through on plans it announced last fall, Spot Runner is moving towards closing down its search operations, saying it no longer fits in with the company's main business functions.

Looking forward, Spot Runner is still betting heavily on developing the digital media buying platform Project Malibu. And while it cuts back in areas like local, Spot Runner is promising the Project Malibu team greater resources and investment, though the company didn't say if it would be be staffing up that unit.

By David Kaplan