Young & Laramore making 'significant' staff cuts

Anthony Schoettle
November 26, 2008
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Young & Laramore is making what it says are "significant" staff cuts in the wake of losing the Steak n Shake account. Though Y&L CEO Paul Knapp declined to say how many of the firm's 66 employees have been or would be terminated, industry sources pegged the number at about 20.

After 18 years with Y&L, Steak n Shake's new CEO, Sardar Biglari, said in November that the restaurant chain is going in a different direction with its advertising and marketing. The relationship has already started to wind down and officially ends Feb. 3, Knapp said.

Though Steak n Shake - which has been plagued recently by declining sales - is Y&L's biggest account, the ad agency is not in danger of going out of business, Knapp said.

"I'm confident we're going to put ourselves in a position to recover from this and thrive," Knapp said. "No partners and no senior members are leaving and no divisions are going away."

To survive, he said, Y&L will begin more aggressively going after national accounts in the retail and consumer packaged-goods categories, green and sustainable goods and services, and - for the first time in many years - the restaurant category.

While the local ad agency's focus will remain on national accounts, Y&L will pursue smaller aspects of accounts and not just agency-of-record assignments.

Y&L also will proceed with plans to launch a design and digital unit in early 2009.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.