Wieden+Kennedy confirmed that the layoffs took place but declined to offer specifics about the positions involved. The agency said only that the roles spanned various departments and were not specific to the creative function, as some rumours had it.
The decision came in response to a broader restructuring of the agency's business in China. "It's time to relook at what we are and how to reposition for a better future," Leo Chu, W+K's regional digital head, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.
The independent agency employs more than 120 people in Shanghai. The agency recently lost the lucrative but reportedly difficult Disney account, which Wieden had serviced for more than two years.
After parting ways with many members of senior management including MD Jason White as well as ECDs Michael Simons and Achilles Li, Chu said, a team of four currently holds the fort for Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai: himself, Rob Campbell (head of planning), Yang Yeo and Bryan Tilson (business director).