Diana Marszalek 31 Oct 2017 // 1:18PM GMT
NEW YORK — Ketchum continues to lay off staff, significantly reducing its 64-person team in the agency’s founding office in Pittsburgh — ahead of shuttering the current office early next year in favor of a leaner, relocated operation.
The layoffs affect individuals who work in back-end operations such as finance, human resources and technology, said a Ketchum spokesperson. The agency declined to confirm numbers, but noted that an unspecified number of employees will stay with the firm, working remotely or in other locations.
The Holmes Report understands that more partner-level positions beyond back-office functions are also likely to be affected by the retrenchment plans, although a Ketchum spokesperson declined to comment.
The move comes as Omnicom, which owns Ketchum, continues to streamline operations in its largest region. The agency eliminated several positions across North America in July after assessing client needs.
In a statement, Ketchum said the "significant staff reduction" in Pittsburgh is "part of a larger consolidation of support services happening at the holding company level.
"Over the last several years, Omnicom, like many major corporations, has focused on streamlining operations, migrating a number of IT, finance and HR functions to fewer locations. The consolidation of support services is not a reflection of Ketchum’s business performance," the statement said.
All Pittsburgh employees will have jobs through the end of the year, and many will continue into the first quarter, according to a Ketchum spokesperson. The office is scheduled to close by the middle of the first quarter, and remaining Pittsburgh employees will work at another location or remotely.
Although the Pittsburgh office is not as robust as it once was, its dispersal is of particular note in the city where George Ketchum founded what was then an advertising firm in 1923.
The layoffs come amid two consecutive quarters of PR decline at Omnicom PR Group, amid a broader market downturn.