Publicis faces up to axing 50 posts after triple blow

Tim Lindsay

Publicis is embarking on a massive restructure that could result in up to 50 jobs cuts following the loss of £90m worth of business in recent months.

The agency, which has lost the MFI, Asda and Post Office accounts since December, is expected to announce the details in the next two weeks.

A number of sources, however, speculate that between 50 and 70 roles could be at risk, which would represent more than 10% of the workforce across the Publicis UK Group.

Publicis lost the £28m MFI account to M&C Saatchi in December and Asda moved its £45m business into Fallon at the start of January. The Post Office then called a review of its £20m advertising business just a year after reappointing Publicis, which has declined to repitch this time.

Publicis UK chairman Tim Lindsay refuses to comment on the specifics of the restructure or any redundancies but says: “Like any well-run business, we are examining our costs and are obliged to make some savings.

“The agency is fully engaged in replacing its lost business and actively pursuing new business.”

The losses wiped out nearly a third of the agency’s £283m billings and are thought to have created a £4m hole in its annual revenues of £36m.

Publicis did win Airbus’ £20m global advertising business at the start of February but that was a network, rather than a London, win. Last year, the UK agency picked up the £7m Premier Foods business and Oxo’s £5m account.

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