NEW YORK--Ogilvy PR has been forced to shed six staff members in New York, because of deep cutbacks in one its key assignments for the Government of Mexico.

The Holmes Report understands that the firm’s lucrative brand and reputation assignment for the Mexican government is currently winding down, because of upcoming elections in the country.

Ogilvy PR began working on the high-level brief in 2010, as part of the country’s efforts to overcome a reputation for instability and drug-fuelled violence. In particular, the firm focused on actively influencing the media dialogue around Mexico, amid considerable negative coverage of the country.

Last year, Ogilvy also won the Mexican Tourism Board’s global PR assignment, which has similar goals to the government brief. It had previously handled the tourism account on an interim basis since 2010. That business has since expanded to include the Mexican state of Sinaloa, and has helped to mitigate the scale of layoffs.

Ogilvy SVP Rachel Ufer confirmed the staff cuts, and said they ranged in level from “junior staffers to SVP”. Ogilvy’s New York office has around 150 staffers. The layoffs were revealed by PRNewser yesterday.

Sinaloa, which is home to one Mexico's most powerful drug cartels, has charged Ogilvy PR with implementing an "aggressive campaign to drive tourism growth and foreign investment...while at the same time protecting its brand from external criticism," according to an agency statement released yesterday.