Agency.com Closes Portland, OR, Office, Cuts 200 Jobs

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A little more than a week after the terrorist attacks, troubled interactive shop Agency.com Ltd. announced it will close its Portland, OR, office and slash 200 jobs, or 19 percent of its work force.


In view of this move, the New York-based agency said yesterday it will take a third-quarter charge of $18 million to $23 million. The charges relate to severance pay and real estate costs.


"The company expects to realize annual cost savings of approximately $25 million as a result of these actions," an Agency.com statement said. "In addition, as a result of these actions, the company plans to evaluate its intangible assets to determine if an impairment is necessary."


A new management structure also is planned that will focus on selling the agency's services through a client partner structure. Client partners are senior executives companywide responsible for client accounts. The firm also will align itself along vertical industry segments.


The reorganization will take effect Sept. 21, a month before Agency.com expects to sell itself to Seneca Investments LLC. Advertising agency holding company Omnicom Group Inc., New York, has an equity interest in Agency.com.


Established in 1995, Agency.com has offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco and Woodbridge, NJ. Overseas, it has offices in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London and Paris, and affiliates in Australia, Singapore and South Korea.


The current round of layoffs spares employees of Agency.com's New York office. About 300 executives work downtown at 20 Exchange Place, less than a mile from the devastated World Trade Center complex.


All New York employees, which include Agency.com's i-traffic division, were evacuated in time.


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