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Spot Runner, a digital agency for television and online video advertisers, announced that it laid off another 60 employees last week, adding to its earlier deep cuts of 115 in November and 50 in August. Things are looking pretty grim for the Los Angeles-based company and its competitors, but Spot Runner insists that it’s not down for the count and that the recent changes were only made to buoy operations until the recession lifts at the end of next year, reported TechCrunch.

The major problem Spot Runner has encountered is that local advertisers — its bread and butter — are less inclined to spend on expensive TV spots in this economic climate. In response, the company is refocusing its efforts on online video ads, and trimming functions that are less related to its core video ad creation and placement businesses. A key component of this plan is the sale of Weblistic, the local search ads service that it acquired a year ago. Spot Runner is also investing more heavily in the development of its Project Malibu digital media-buying platform. The system is currently being tested by advertising buyers and sellers.

Regardless of Spot Runner’s protests that it’s alive and kicking, it’s a bad sign when any company that has raised upwards of $100 million in capital in a few short years downshifts into survival mode. It will be interesting to observe the impact of the economy on its rivals, Spotzer, Visible World, Jivox and Google TV Ads.


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