Ad holding company WPP Group is beginning the new year with preparations to lay off of thousands at its global agencies, Guardian reported. The decision was made during budget meetings held during the last two months. The units that have staffing costs greater than 60 percent of revenue. But the cuts at the global company will not be spread evenly. Reductions will be heavily felt in North America and Western Europe, places that have been hit hard by the advertising slump. Meanwhile, those losses will make up for staffing additions in Latin America, Asia and eastern Europe, which have so far been less effected by the global economic downturn.
The specific amount of the cuts was uncertain, with one unidentified source telling the Guardian that a 10 percent rumored reduction of WPP’s 100,000 member workforce was “rubbish.” The move comes a few weeks after WPP rival Omnicom said it was laying off between 3- and 4 percent of its 70,000 staffers. Additionally, WPP investors have become increasingly concerned about the ad giant’s debt levels since its £1.14 billion ($2 billion) takeover of TNS Media Intelligence. Still, WPP started the year off on a positive note, closing up Friday 1.79 percent to $30.