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We Hear…

Staffing Changes at R/GA New York

RGA

When we last heard from R/GA New York, the agency announced the hiring of ECD Mike Rigby, formerly with Interbrand Australia, to help advise clients on brand strategy.

Today brings word of more changes at the New York office (which will soon begin its transition from an agency headquarters to a fancy hotel): an unknown number of staffers are now unemployed. Here’s the agency’s official statement:

“As with any agency of our size, there are always staff changes occurring. However, we are not currently nor do we plan on executing any large scale layoffs at R/GA.”

Tipsters claim that the shift involves several “executives and senior folks” and that the group in question may include Nick Katsivelos, managing director of technology and strategy. CTO John Mayo-Smith was not laid off; he resigned to join a non-profit.

We can provide one important detail: the pink slip party will go down at The Frying Pan on West 26th Street and the Hudson River at 6 PM tonight.

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Like Apple Technology, TBWA May Be Updated Very Soon

Your Verse

For more than 30 years, TBWA/Media Arts Lab has enjoyed one of the most prized advertising accounts on the planet. After reports from the New York Post et al. and that entity called “Madison Avenue”agencies are salivating for a bite of the Apple.

The dirty laundry aired in the form of internal emails during the Samsung trial in April and the subsequent reports that Apple would create more of its own ads in-house may have had something to do with this latest development.

Moreover, word is that whichever outside firm may eventually work on the account will also answer to Jimmy Iovine, president and grand poobah of Beats headphones, BeatsMusic and all other things By Dre that were recently acquired by Apple.

Read more

Staffing Changes at BBDO Atlanta

BBDOATL

Today we confirmed that BBDO is in the process of enacting staffing changes in its Atlanta office. An unspecified number of employees are no longer with the agency as of this afternoon.

Specifics are very light, though we hear that hirings may follow these dismissals and that the purpose of the larger reconfiguration, which involves personnel changes across departments, is to better align the agency’s offerings with the needs of its current and future clients.

Tips mention both digital creatives and senior staffers, so this looks to be part of an office-wide strategic shift.

For context, the most visible recent move at the Atlanta office was the departure of President/CEO Gill Duff and subsequent appointment of Drew Panayiotou to replace him. The move was significant in that Panayiotou was then new to the agency game, having previously served as SVP of US marketing at Best Buy after running in-house marketing and media buying teams at  Walt Disney, Coca-Cola and others.

Updates as we receive them.

UPDATE: Layoffs at Razorfish North America

razorfish

The tips have been pouring in this week, and they all tell of staffing changes at Razorfish North America.

Several tips claim that 20 to 25 staffers have been dismissed from the agency’s Chicago office alone.

Others report layoffs at the agency’s Atlanta and West Coast offices, listing the total of North American employees dismissed at 100.

On the plus side: one tipster claims that, while confirming the downsizing, the agency’s CEO also announced that employees will receive merit-based pay increases on August 1st.

UPDATED: This morning the agency released a statement:

“Like most companies, flexes in business require us to realign in order to accommodate the evolving needs of our clients. The recent workforce reduction represents less than 3% of our global headcount. We remain committed to sourcing world-class talent and further strengthening our capabilities to deliver business transformation. Our immediate focus is ensuring we continue to provide the best services possible to our existing clients and new accounts such as Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Car2Go.”

We Hear: T-Mobile National Account No Longer With TracyLocke Dallas

tmobile

We received your tips; it seems that a portion of the T-Mobile account is no longer with TracyLocke Dallas.

We hear that the agency first encountered rumblings about T-Mobile shopping around several months ago and responded by breaking the account into two separate portions: retail and national. In the ensuing pitch, TracyLocke retained the retail portion of the account but lost the national portion to an as-yet-unknown competitor.

We know very little in the way of specifics, but the news supposedly became official within the agency this week. In case you missed it, TracyLocke CEO Beth Ann Kaminkow also left for a position with Westfield Group earlier this month.

For context, Publicis Seattle has been creative AOR for T-Mobile since 2006.

Details as they come in.

We Hear: Executive Producer Out at Innocean USA

innocean

While Innocean officially declines to comment on staffing changes, we’ve received a steady stream of tips this week regarding Executive Producer Jamil Bardowell.

Seems that Bardowell, who joined Innocean as VP, Director of Integrated Production in 2012, is no longer with the agency.

Bardowell has an extensive agency background: before joining Innocean, he worked at WPP’s The Garage Team Mazda; previous roles include production duties at Deutsch, Saatchi & Saatchi and The Rumor Mill.

His name appears on campaigns as recent as this week’s Hyundai FIFA spot; we’ll let you know if we learn more.

Layoffs at W+K Portland

wieden-kennedy

We’ve confirmed, via agency spokesperson, that a series of layoffs officially hit the Portland offices of Wieden+Kennedy today.

In summary: after parting ways with a few unspecified clients, W+K had to make some unfortunate decisions regarding the size of its staff.

Agency reps could not comment on totals or titles, but several anonymous tipsters told us the number of layoffs was greater than 30 and that it included more than one Creative Director.

Updates if/when we receive them.

We Hear: Partner/Co-Creative Director Leaving NSG/SWAT

nsgSWAT

This morning we heard that Troy Lumpkin has resigned as partner and co-creative director at Richard Kirshenbaum‘s agency NSG/SWAT.

For context: Kirshenbaum, who chose to be known as the “madboy” of the ad world, started the boutique agency in order to “offer marketers an alternative” to shops like the other one he founded, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal (now owned by MCD); it sprang from the Nue Studio Group he opened in 2011 while still working at his previous job.

Agency co-founder Lumpkin had been one of its principals for approximately three years.

No word on where he is headed or who may replace him at NSG/SWAT.

We Hear: Who’s Still Fighting Over Ashley Furniture?

ashley-furniture-300x240Last month we posted on the Ashley Furniture agency review–and since you’re all dying to hear updates, we have one: our source has confirmed that three agencies still stand after Ashley decided to part ways with now-former AOR Zimmerman. They are:

Again, Ashley will spend more than $50 million on media this year–so while they’re not quite Microsoft, there’s a reason the review is now nearly two months old.

To the victor belong the (limited warranty) spoils.

We Hear: Movement on the Ashley Furniture Review

347-02-38-35-Francesca-Sofa-Loveseats-ashley-furnitureMore than a month ago, AdWeek brought you news that national plush couch chain Ashley Furniture had launched a creative review.

Today we heard a couple of things from our sources about that review:

  • Ft. Lauderdale’s Zimmerman, which served as the company’s AOR since 2009, is out

At least one party remains standing:

Since this isn’t a small account (Ashley is offering more than $50 million in yearly media spending), we expect to hear more on the review soon.

For context, in 2012 the chain chose Ryan Partnership as AOR for the launch of its spinoff chain, literally named “ZZZ’s by Ashley.”

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