JWT cuts back in New York after two years of turmoil

JWT has joined the ranks of New York agencies cutting staff according to Agency Spy, hardly surprising given the plague of locusts it’s undergone over the past couple of years.

About 20 people have gone following a management reshuffle which also saw the exit of JWT global CCO Matt Eastwood.

JWT has been bedevilled by l’affaire Martinez, the exit of global CEO Gustavo Martinez following claims of harassment levied in a New York court by former chief communications officer Erin Johnson. Johnson has only recently resigned, having been required to sit at her fairly inactive desk.

Departed WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, never slow to reach for a lawyer himself, is believed to have been behind the long-running stalemate when it would have been easier and better to have settled and moved on. Martinez is believed to be still working for WPP as its country manager in Spain.

It now falls to new global CEO Tamara Ingram, parachuted in from the UK, to try to resolve this mess and get WPP’s first big agency acquisition back on track. But the task of reviving a big global agency at a time when clients are cutting back and WPP itself is in turmoil following Sorrell’s surprise exit is a daunting one.

JWT may fare better under different ownership – a clean slate.

Agency Spy also features the bizarre image (above), presumably designed to celebrate JWT’s 150 years in business. Words, for once, fail us.

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