The World: Sydney - Twenty four staff laid off at George Patterson Y&R

George Patterson Y&R in Sydney has axed a quarter of its staff, including Michael Stanford, the creative director, as part of a major restructure. A total of 24 people have been laid off, the majority of them having worked on the agency's Telstra business.

Julie Porter, the agency's newly installed managing director, described the cuts as a "commercial reality".

Telstra is George Patterson's largest client and, along with other roster agencies, has suffered from fee reductions by the telecoms giant.

Nigel Marsh was appointed the chief executive of Y&R Brands at the beginning of the month with a brief to shake up the group.