Wolff Olins upbeat despite cutting 40

Wolff Olins has hit back at reports that the loss of 40 jobs from its London office is a reflection of branding losing its appeal.

The consultancy announced last week that it is in consultation to reduce staff numbers.

Although the group’s decision is a cost-cutting exercise in response to market conditions, managing director Charles Wright says the branding market has now normalised, after last year’s boom.

‘New business enquiries are lower than they have would have been at their peak last spring,’ says Wright, ‘but they are still up 50 to 100 per cent on what they were three years ago,’ he adds.

Staff at its overseas offices are not affected by the cuts, which will see its 280 London staff reduced by approximately 15 per cent in the coming weeks. Subsequently, the consultancy plans to re-organise its teams.

‘Internally we have been organised around three separate resource groups: designers, consultants and account managers,’ says Wright. ‘The staffing of a project will in future come from one mixed work team. Fusing skills that have been separate will create greater creativity and make us more nimble.’

He dismisses the idea that the strategic importance of brands is on anything but a growth curve. ‘We are very excited about the way the market is going,’ he says.

Wright feels strongly that businesses have increasingly come to realise that branding is the driver of business success.

He denies any involvement from the consultancy’s new owner Omnicom in the decision to cut staff. ‘Omnicom has left us alone’, he says. Wright also denies pressure to merge with any Omnicom stablemates, such as Interbrand.

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