WPP expects 5% to 6% decline in revenue in '09

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WPP, the parent company for marketing agencies including OgilvyOne, G2, Young & Rubicam and Grey Worldwide, is expecting a 5% to 6% drop in revenue for 2009, according to the firm's first quarter financial report.

In Q1 of 2009, on a like-for-like basis, excluding the impact of acquisitions and currency fluctuations, revenues were down 5.8%. WPP's press release attributed this drop to “cuts in client spending in reaction to the global financial and economic crisis, essentially after both the sub-prime crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September, as de-stocking followed declines in consumer spending.”

To account for this revenue loss, WPP laid off 3,500 employees in the first quarter. Earlier press reports today said the company was going to cut more than 7,000 jobs. In response, WPP deferred comments to its financial release. If WPP's prediction to lose 5% to 6% in revenue for the rest of the year comes true, then the firm expects to lay off another 1,000 to 1,500 people, according to the release.  

This comes after news last month that WPP folded Enfatico, the agency created for Dell, into its Young & Rubicam brand.
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