Deutsche Bank analyst Matt Chesler wrote in a note to investors today that he believed MDC Partners may be planning more layoffs at its ad agency network, beyond those at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.CP+B laid off 43 of its 900 or so employees yesterday, capping a “pile on Crispin” week in which Slate columnist Seth Stevenson delighted in the once-hot shop’s misfortunes.
MDC’s other shops include Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners and Colle & McVoy. Chesler mentioned no names. He told his readers:
We also believe that there may be cuts underway elsewhere in MDCA’s portfolio, although the news reports make no mention of that.
It’s all a bit of a culture shock for Crispin and MDC, its parent company. When the agency was riding high, doing controversial work for Volkswagen and Burger King (including a “sexy” SpongeBob tie-in) everyone loved it. Partner Alex Bogusky’s grin decorated many a magazine cover, giving the agency brand name status outside the ad biz.
Photo: Fast Company
But then Bogusky retired after receiving a slice of a $39 million earnout from MDC in 2010, and the drumbeat of negative publicity began.
Bogusky started criticising the fast food business, which did not help his old agency retain its Burger King client.
This week there were layoffs. And then Slate’s Stevenson wrote:Thus it has been with a toothy grin, and evilly steepled fingers, that I have greeted reports of recent Crispin setbacks.
… Live by the bro, die by the bro. Basically, Crispin steered the Burger King brand into a deep ditch.
- UPDATE: We asked MDC CEO Miles Nadal for a comment, and got this BRUTAL response.
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