Maja Pawinska Sims & Diana Marszalek 15 May 2020 // 5:02PM GMT
NEW YORK — Two more IPG public relations agencies have confirmed layoffs this week, as the impact of the Covid-19 crisis continues across the industry.
DeVries Global and Current Global have both made redundancies across their businesses, although neither agency would confirm the number of employees affected, or at what levels.
The news follows sister agencies Weber Shandwick and Golin making layoffs this week, and other holding groups including Omnicom also making significant job cuts across their PR agencies. Edelman and MSL have also recently made redundancies.
All four IPG agencies are within the holding company's Constituency Management Group, whose CEO and chairman Andy Polansky said in a statement: “Given the diversity of our agencies and their client portfolios, their offerings, client mix and geographic presence, the impact of the pandemic and our approach to protecting our businesses has and will continue to be quite different across many of our companies.
“Our agencies are taking steps based on their particular business considerations, while minimizing the impact on our people as much as possible.”
At DeVries Global, North America regional managing director Jessica O’Callaghan said: “The economic impact of the global pandemic on our business has been notable especially given the premium categories we excel in, including travel. This week, we have unfortunately had to remove some full-time positions. The impact represented a small percentage of our overall workforce.”
She added: “We waited as long as we could to take this very difficult decision and in the US we have extended the healthcare benefits to those affected and hired consultants to help our people find new employment.”
Current Global co-CEO Virginia Devlin also confirmed the redundancies: “Like many other agencies, we unfortunately had to make some very difficult staffing decisions to address the economic impact to our business as a result of the global pandemic. In addition to executive team pay cuts, we reduced schedules for some team members, and instituted a very small number of short-term furloughs and layoffs.
She said it was the “first time in Current’s 14-year history that it had had to take these types of actions,” and that “it was an incredibly hard decision to make for an agency that feels like family.”
Devlin added: “We are confident in the overall strength of our business and believe we are set up for long-term success. For now, our focus is to protect as many jobs as possible while delivering impactful work for our clients.”