VanSant Dugdale agency cuts one-third of its staff


VanSant Dugdale cut its staff by more than a third and laid off 13 employees from its production, traffic and media departments yesterday morning, according to an official at the advertising agency.

The cuts have been expected since Gray Kirk & Evans and VanSant agreed to a merger last month, creating Baltimore's second-largest ad agency, with $80 million in annual billings.

Combined, the new agency, named Gray Kirk/VanSant, will have 92 employees, said Jeff Millman, the VanSant creative director who will co-head the creative department at the merged agency. The new agency will specialize in consumer, retail, entertainment and business-to-business advertising.

Mr. Millman said no more layoffs were expected.

"This is it," he said. "The team is in place that's going to make this work."

It is unclear whether Baltimore's advertising agencies will be able to give homes to VanSant's laid off workers.

Business has been slow in the industry nationwide, and many agencies here have laid off some employees.

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