The Direct Marketing Association laid off nearly two dozen individuals on Monday, including several high-level employees. Outside estimates range from 18 to 21 workers.
According to sources, the organization’s marketing department has been decimated, with any marketing employee at or above the director level having lost his or her job. The cuts also include several individuals within the conferences division.
Asked about the layoffs, the DMA issued the following statement: “Like so many prudent businesses, DMA is restructuring to ride out the current economic situation ensuring we remain strong and capable of continuing to provide outstanding service to our members and customers well into the future. As we proceed, it is our hope that the restructuring will be seamless to members. It is our intent to enhance our members’ DMA experiences, build upon our strengths and continue to improve and deepen the value of DMA to the growing direct marketing community. It would be inappropriate to discuss individuals affected by this restructuring. We’ll have no further comment.”
Among the employees reportedly let go were Leslie J. Benjamin, director of education and event marketing; Douglas Berger, director of member communications; James F. Conway, vice president and counsel for corporate and social responsibility; Peter Johnson, VP and senior economist for strategy, analysis and planning; Alan P. Kuritsky, senior VP of sales and marketing; Charles A. Prescott, VP of global development; and Marci Silverman, director of membership and research marketing.
Industry guesstimates put the DMA’s pre-layoff staff level at around 120 people. In another development, the DMA has apparently suspended its daily member newsletter 3D.
The cuts follow a round of distressing financial news for the organization. Between 2007 and 2008, the DMA’s revenue dropped from $39.7 million to just over $39 million – and as its financial year ends on June 30, those figures do not include results from the most recent annual conference, which casual observers described as lightly attended.
Much of the revenue drop came from falloff in meetings and conferences, as well as in its educational services and research and strategic information. Its losses in these areas were partly offset by gains from its new Mail Moves America program.
In contrast, the company’s expenses, which as of June 30 totaled $29.5 million, were on par with those for 2007.