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Spot Runner Lays Off 50 in Realignment

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Spot Runner confirmed late Tuesday it had made layoffs earlier in the day, the news of which was first reported by Valleywag but not in entirely correct fashion, according to a company spokesperson. The advertising platform let go of about 50 people, or 10 percent of its staff, said VP of corporate communications Rosabel Tao.

Tao said the company was hiring 40-50 people for newly created positions, resulting in a “net-even swap” of employees. While the layoffs were “in various departments,” she said, they were mostly related to an ongoing strategic shift to include advertising for national businesses. This is the department run by high-profile hire Joanne Bradford, who joined in March after leaving MSN.

Spot Runner, which has raised total funding of $111 million, has become a behemoth in its three short years — but perhaps its growth came too fast to be in control. Spot Runner had originally started with a focus on helping local businesses advertise on TV. While it still does that, the company also now provides national marketing and online advertisements.

Tao insisted the layoffs were part of a “natural course correct” as Spot Runner grows. “The timing of this given the economy, people can jump to conclusions,” she said. “But this is why we’re glad we raised so much money.”

23 Responses to “Spot Runner Lays Off 50 in Realignment”

  1. Spotrunner Deathwatch

    I agree with Mike M. above except that Spot Runner says on its own web site that it charges more than the traditional agency 15%. Spotrunner may typically charge additional commissions and fees above a regular agency commission – like in some cases 100% more. So your so-called $500 ad can wind up costing $10,000! Looks like P.T. Barnum was right. The closest Grouf ever got to cheap TV spots is when he used the real CheapTVSpots online agency’s trade name for his own Businessweek VNR. A cheap shot that may have already cost him and his investors 200 million. Template based screw-it-up-yourself recycled ads are a fad anyway. R.I.P. Spot Runner.

  2. Nothing SR does is making much sense – ie hiring an online expert to run a TV advertising firm (who knows about as much about the ups and downs of a TV based ad agency as Nick does), charging 15% plus commissions which the way of the dinosaur a decade ago, while pushing for DR accounts which they have little expertise, experience or systems for – not to mention that DR means buy it on the cheap – not pay a premium commission, and oh yeah-there’s no account service to justify those fees either, then there’s hiring hundreds of sales people with no TV bg, and among the people who are now gone are some with the strongest national TV experience in the entire company. Their local business model didn’t pan out, they are running through vc at a pace that will put them out of business within 2 years and so now they’ve decided what the world needs is a second rate traditional ad agency that hires junior people and charges 15% for the privilege of taking your money. Will agree, though, Rosabel is a genius in spin.

  3. Mike M.

    One of the worst run start-ups I’ve seen. They have something like 200+ employees and no real vision. Thank God I didn’t accept the job offer from them. 2x return would be a tremendous success story their investors.

  4. kinda sounds like spin

    i don’t get it still. the ppl that got the axe include a sr. sys admin, sdet, and release engr. furthermore, the dir of bi/data and dir of architect departed on their own volition.

    these are some critical posts for a tech company like spot runner. it doesn’t add up imho…