Staff Reporters
Sep 16, 2019

FCB New Zealand copywriter hires clown for redundancy meeting

A clown enters our WTF files for the first time, and yes, there are fake tears involved.


Josh Thompson, (former) copywriter at FCB New Zealand, found out that he was about to be laid off. And what did he do? He brought an emotional support clown to his redundancy meeting. You certainly can’t fault the guy for lack of creativity on the job, even when on his last legs.

According to The Guardian, the agency had lost a big client, which resulted in a string of layoffs including that of Thompson, who had been with the company for five months. Thompson had received an email from his bosses that read: “Bad news. We’re having a meeting to discuss your role.”

Instead of bringing in a family member or a puppy, Thompson hired a clown for NZ$200 (US$128) dressed in a colourful hat/wig for the meeting.

The clown was said to have “crafted balloon animals throughout the meeting, including a poodle”. The report added that the clown’s antics were “squeaky, and Thompson’s bosses had to request he quieten down several times”. At one time, the clown was also said to have mimed crying when the redundancy paperwork was being handed over.

This all sounds hilarious. Or terrifying. Depending on your childhood.

NZ Herald reported that Thompson has since secured a new job at DDB along with his creative partner (sadly, not the clown) and they are set to start their roles next week.

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