O&M axes 20 staff as Ford losses hit home

Ogilvy & Mather has axed 20 members of staff, including two senior executives, following the loss of its key Ford of Europe account to Young & Rubicam in July.

Ogilvy & Mather has axed 20 members of staff, including two senior

executives, following the loss of its key Ford of Europe account to

Young & Rubicam in July.



Malcolm Gaskin, a creative director on Ford, and James Page, the former

Ford account director, are the most senior casualties. The other

redundancies are spread across the agency.



The cuts had been widely expected since Ford dropped its Y&R bombshell

three months ago. A statement from Tom Bury, O&M’s chief executive,

read: ’The redundancies were made following a comprehensive assessment

of the agency’s staffing requirements for 1999.



’This was conducted against the background of a predicted economic

downturn and the loss of some revenues from major client, Ford of

Europe. The agency is also restructuring to deliver greater efficiencies

both internally and for its clients.’



Bury added: ’It is disappointing to have to take this kind of action

but, like any business, we cannot carry cost unsupported by revenue.

Thankfully, recent new-business wins such as Thorn, Saga, COI and

Eurotunnel allowed us to keep the number of redundancies to a

minimum.’



O&M lost the lion’s share of the mammoth Ford account in July when Y&R

landed the Ka and Fiesta across Europe (Campaign, 10 July).



The switch came just days after Y&R won the pan-European launch of the

Focus, the successor to the key Escort marque.



Gaskin, the former Woollams Moira Gaskin O’Malley partner, joined O&M

full-time in May to head the Ford of Britain business after working

freelance for the agency for some months.



Page joined O&M from FCB in September 1992. He took over the Ford

business in 1995, handing over the reins this February to Daryl

Fielding, the former BMP DDB account director.



Most recently, he headed a number of other accounts as a managing

partner.



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