Draftfcb/Chicago cuts 100 jobs in wake of SC Johnson account loss

Draftfcb has laid off the largest number of employee at one time with its cut of 10% of the Chicago workforce, or 100 jobs out of the agency’s estimated 1,000 employees.  The jobs were cut across the board, at all functions and levels.

The layoffs were not unexpected in the aftermath of Draftfcb losing the $1 billion SC Johnson business after 60 years, although the cuts came quickly.  Less than three weeks ago, SC Johnson officially announced the account switch to Ogilvy & Mather and Energy BBDO.

Draftfcb was prepared for layoffs during the review process. “We had closed down many open jobs several months ago in the event that the SCJ decision did not go our way, and that has helped to lessen the impact of that decision,” said global president/CEO Laurence Boschetto in a statement.

Draftfcb’s global workforce will be reduced by 3%, including the Chicago cuts.  The agency employs approximately 9,200 globally, including Chicago, so about 275 jobs have been eliminated.

Boschetto continued, “We consider ourselves a ‘human organization,’ one that deeply cares for the well-being of all our employees, even those for whom we don’t currently have a place in our company.

“That is why we wanted to help as many of them as possible get jobs within the industry. This will hopefully result in an easier transition for them and for the SC Johnson business.

“We realize that providing such assistance on the heels of a long, arduous review is certainly not typical, but it underscores why our Chicago agency has been named one of the best places to work in the city and state 15 times over the past five years.”

SC Johnson’s business was worth an estimated $20-$25 million for the Chicago office.