MARKETING AND MEDIA : Ad Shop Foote, Cone May Share Pain of Layoff at Main Client Mazda of America

Compiled by Anne Michaud; Times staff writer

Mazda of America’s announcement last week that it will lay off 140 people in Irvine may bring more hard times to its advertising agency, a spokesman for Foote, Cone & Belding said.

The Santa Ana office of Foote, Cone, which relies on Mazda for more than 90% of its revenue, didn’t see the Mazda layoffs coming.

Might the cuts mean a staff reduction for the ad agency?

“We cannot foresee at this point,” said Tom Robbins, director of communications for Foote, Cone. “We have to try to align our business with theirs, with what the client’s needs are.”


As for Mazda’s public relations agency, Ron Hartwig, general manager of Hill & Knowlton’s Southern California operation, said not to worry. “We’re in good shape. I don’t foresee any layoffs as a result of Mazda at all.”

When the Japanese auto maker canceled plans in December to start a luxury car division called Amati, Hill & Knowlton eliminated five jobs, and Foote, Cone cut 24.