FCB farewells staff following account losses

Following the news that FCB lost the Volkswagen account to DDB and Paper Plus to Contagion, the agency has said goodbye to a large number of staff.

After publishing the stories about the account moves and following up on reader comments, StopPress contacted FCB and asked whether there had been 27 people let go.

CEO Dan Martin, who is currently attending the Cannes Lions festival in France, provided a statement via email: “Like any advertising agency we are constantly reviewing and adjusting our business in line with client requirements. It is not our policy to comment more specifically about employment matters out of respect for those directly involved.”

In January of this year, NZ Marketing spoke to Martin as he settled into the agency after joining in August last year.

At the time, FCB’s staff headcount was 215 compared to 213 when he started. He said the agency was not chasing growth for growth’s sake, rather it was focused on improving its talent and skills in all departments and growing organically with clients.

Prior to Martin starting with the agency Fleur Head and Kamran Kazalbash, managing director and general manager of retail respectively, resigned and they were followed by Rufus Chuter, managing director of FCB Media, who resigned in May

FCB would not comment on the roles of the staff included in the recent departures, but a source has suggested they are all creatives and suits and there are no departures from media.

StopPress asked about the status of the Noel Leeming account, it confirmed the loss of the media business, which left FCB earlier this year with the consolidation of The Warehouse Group’s media to one agency. But it did not specify whether it had lost any creative work (The Warehouse Group has also hired an executive creative director). 

In January, The Warehouse Group launched a search for a single media partner to work across all of its brands, in a move that saw it appoint one agency where there had previously been six.

In May it was announced Omnicom Media Group was appointed as the single media strategy and buying partner for The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and Torpedo7.

Since then, news has come of Volkswagen’s creative account being moved from FCB to DDB. FCB confirmed suspicions that the appointment was part of a deal that saw DDB move to Giltrap HQ on Great North Road and relinquish the BMW account. FCB retained the media business. 

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished creatively for VW during our tenure and look forward to continuing to work with them through FCB Media,” said FCB.

Meanwhile, Paper Plus has recently appointed Contagion as its creative and media agency, which has seen the accounts shift from FCB.

On the plus side, FCB has recently won VTNZ, Samsung and Audi. 

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