SpotRunner, the heavily backed online and TV ad agency based in Los Angeles, is laying off about 115 people from its company, which is 30 pe…

imageSpotRunner, the heavily backed online and TV ad agency based in Los Angeles, is laying off about 115 people from its company, which is 30 percent of staff, we have learned and confirmed by the company. Rumors to this effect started circulating last week, but no decision was made until the internal announcement today. The company CEO Nick Grouf told me that the company is still in a strong financial position, with significant cash in the bank. It raised a big $51 million fourth round earlier in the summer from an international group of investors include UK media group Daily Mail (LSE: DMGT) and General Trust, Spanish-speaking media giant Grupo Televisa, hedge fund Legg Mason Capital Management and French luxury group Groupe Arnault/LVMH.

Also, the company is closing down its looking at various strategic options for the local search division, Grouf told me, where most of these layoffs are coming from. (CORRECTION: It is NOT closing down the division, as I mistakenly wrote earlier). SpotRunner diversified into local search early this year when it bought Weblistic, a provider of online marketing service for small businesses. The rest of the company is being consolidated in LA.

The market condition forced the company to take this drastic step, Grouf said. Some would say it has to do more with how fast the company tried to expand, moving from being an online TV-ad distribution provider to being a broader video AND text advertising providers across various platforms. But Grouf says the company will continue to focus on video advertising in a broad way: TV, telco and online video ad inventory.

This comes soon after the company laid off about 50 people earlier in August, but has been hiring for more positions since then. Also, veteran online ad exec Joanne Bradford left the company for *Yahoo* in September, after having joined it from MSFT only six months earlier.

  1. This company uses pirated software or so called software from MSDN accounts for production. I am surprised they still are in business.

  2. I am sooooo sick of hearing about this basket-case of a company. It's ALL bad news for them. They are clearly heading toward utter failure.

  3. I don't believe that their hardship is due to market conditions. Another online agency CheapTVSpots is quietly increasing capacity and hiring worldwide. Of course, Cheap TV Spots does not use one-size-fits-all templates or charge extra for air time placement, like spotrunner seems to do trying to look sexy to Wall Street. Hmmmm…Wall Street. Another brilliant bunch. Even poop does not float in a down economy.


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