Razorfish and 24/7 Media Europe close as downturn strikes

Two high-profile internet agencies have closed their doors because

of the downturn in the new-media market.



The internet consultancy Razorfish has closed its London office as part

of a struggle to stem global losses. The company's value, once as high

as $4.5 billion, has dropped below the $20 million

mark.



The online sales company 24/7 Media Europe has shut down after the

failure of a rescue attempt by its chief operations officer, Carl White.

The closure sees the loss of 30 jobs at the agency that sold advertising

space and provided e-mail marketing for clients such as Handbag.com.



The future of 24/7 had been in question since its US parent pulled

funding four weeks ago from the European and South American markets in

order to concentrate on domestic operations.



At its height, 24/7 Media Europe had 18 offices in 13 European

countries.



White was in talks with potential Italian backers in an effort to keep

operations afloat in three European jurisdictions. After these talks

broke down last weekend, the decision was taken to close operations.



Razorfish has also been hounded by rumours over its funding

position.



Last month it was forced to deny speculation on Wall Street that it was

about to file for bankruptcy protection.



Razorfish's closure comes after it announced a 33 per cent fall in

revenues to $28.7 million in the three months to the end of June,

and a one-off $70 million restructuring charge.



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