Morning Coffee Dec 08 2011

AstraZeneca to Cut 24% of U.S. Sales Force

By damian ghigliotty

Grab that prescription for painkillers. It's been one tough year for folks in pharma sales.

The London-based pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca, plans to cut 1,150 of its U.S. sales representatives and managers by February 2012, Reuters reported.

AstraZeneca's announcement comes on the heels of 400 U.S.-based job cuts announced in early October. The combined 1,550 layoffs are in addition to the company's ongoing plans to eliminate 8,000 jobs over the next several years.

Analysts forecast a steady decline in sales at the company due to expiring patents on some of its big-name products such as Nexium.

AstraZeneca's competitors, Pfizer, Merck and Novartis, have also announced job cuts this year, due to declining sales and changing price structures for branded drugs.

In August, Pfizer said it plans to lay off 16,300 employees as a result of cuts in health care benefits for retirees.

Sales Buzz

Selling Annuities (FINS)

Selling annuities as relatively safe investment options takes a sensitive approach. The sales pitches are multilayered, if one can even call them pitches.

Signs of Hope (WSJ)

McClatchy and Gannett reported that declines in ad revenue have slowed, a hopeful sign for the newspaper and advertising business. Ad agencies WPP and MDC Partners said they expect the advertising market to improve in 2012.

Selling Beverages (Ad Age)

Ad Age talks to Al Soricelli, the chief executive of beverage upstart TrueCitrus about marketing drinks in a saturated market.

Sales Clarity (Sales Machine)

Sales Machine offers three tips on how to get clients to see that your solution is the best fit.

Marketing Buzz

Weinswig's Move (FINS)

Interpublic Group's digital advertising agency R/GA has poached Steve Weinswig, 47, from the San Francisco office of Frog Design to head its own San Francisco office.

New CMO at Zimmerman (Ad Age)

Omnicom Group's Zimmerman Advertising has hired Ryan Linder, vice president and marketing director of the Minneapolis-based agency Olson, as its chief marketing officer. The CMO position was left vacant when Michael Goldberg left Zimmerman for Omnicom's Porter Novelli, a public relations firm, in late October.

End of the Line (Media Decoder)

Cara Lewis, the booking agent for hip-hop and R&B acts Eminem, Kanye West and Rihanna, is leaving her job at the talent agency WME after 23 years there. WME did not renew Lewis's contract, according to people familiar with the matter.

Buzz Around the Office

Merry Merry Burger (Gift Couture)

Would you like some wrapping with your boxes?

List of the Day: Using Local Resources to Find a Job

Sure, there are plenty of job sites out there -- including ours. But here are some additional local resources for job seekers:

1. Check your local Department of Labor office.

2. Check your local workforce centers.

3. Look for career assistance classes at your local public library.


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