Dentsu's Isobar overhauls Perth office; cuts staff

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 21 July 2016

In a move to turn the business around, Isobar has overhauled its Perth office, cutting staff and realigning its services to match up with the firm's global offering.

The changes have seen 17 staff made redundant, with a team of eight remaining in Perth to service around a dozen clients.

Isobar CEO for ANZ Konrad Spilva told AdNews that making staff redundant was a “tough decision” and one that was made with careful consideration due to the fact that the agency was experiencing “significant financial pressures”.

He outlined that these changes are due to retiring technologies, explaining this move means Isobar now has a “smaller, more nimble and specialised capability” that is in line with the group's overall strategy as a business, and will hopefully grow as it delivers results for its clients.

In May last year Densu's Isobar merged with smaller digital player the Vivid Group Perth, forming Isobar Perth, and Spilva says the agency has made some substantial changes with the aim to achieve a “significant reset” of the agency to ensure its viability in the future.

“We’ve made some pretty big changes, restructuring the Perth office to align to the global and national vision for Isobar,” he says.

“We’re shifting the office away from intranet/extranet builds and a maintenance service desk to focus on customer experience design, marketing automation services and enterprise CMS development.”

When asked about integrating Isobar with Vivid Group's offering and how the partnership is going, Spilva says it's been a challenge due to Vivid being mainly focused on e-commerce, intranet and small website builds.

He says the business has delivered “some great projects”, but its financial health has been an issue for several years, so over the past 12 months Isobar has been revisiting the previous strategies and has subsequently decided to adjust the office's services.

“It’s a significant reset that we feel will set up the business for success,” Spilva says. “We felt it was necessary to make these changes to deliver value for our clients in the long term, refocusing the office on the services we feel are critical in helping our clients transform for the digital age.

“Our team has been impacted and throughout the process we’ve tried to provide extensive support to staff and their families through counselling services and outplacement assistance.”

In spite of all these changes Spilva believes the business in Perth is still viable, saying: “We have some great clients in Perth and a fantastic Dentsu Aegis Network office.

“The WA economy is going through a drastic transition, which will be a challenging time for everyone, but we’re building a strong foundation to deliver services for clients that will deliver greater value over the long term.”

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