Poor Q3 showing blamed on terror

NEW YORK: Three advertising holding companies announced their

third-quarter results last week, each placing partial blame for falling

earnings on a poor economy made worse by the September 11 terrorist

attacks.



Billings for France-based Publicis Groupe jumped 56.5% since January 1,

to EUR11.3 billion ($9.97 billion), mainly attributed to the

acquisition of ad powerhouse Saatchi & Saatchi and ad, PR, and marketing

healthcare specialist Nelson Communications. Organic billings growth

dropped 4.6% from the previous year, consistent with new worldwide

expectations.



Publicis revenues for the first nine months of 2001 were EUR1.74 billion

($1.5 billion), an increase of 59%, and an organic rise of 4.2%

over 2000 figures.



Interpublic Group (IPG), home to the world's largest PR agency, Weber

Shandwick Worldwide, posted a net loss for the quarter. The $477.5 million loss was in part due to $592.8 million in charges

related to the True North Communications acquisition.



Excluding those items, third-quarter earnings totaled $54.5

million, down nearly half from $107.7 million in 2000.



Revenues fell to $1.6 billion from $1.7 billion a year

earlier. IPG said about 20% of the revenue decline, or $35

million, was connected to September 11-related business disruptions.



For the quarter, marketing services revenue, equal to 41% of IPG's

revenues, fell 2% to $664.1 million. As part of marketing

services, revenue for PR declined 9% to $141 million.



The Grey Global Group reported positive third-quarter billings of

$1.97 billion, a decrease of 2% versus the same quarter in 2000.

Earnings were down 70%, from $1.5 million, or $1.23 per

share, in the third quarter compared to $5.1 million, or $3.82 per share a year earlier.



Net income plummeted to $1.51 million for the third quarter of

2001, and $4.18 million for the first nine months of the year,

from $5.14 million and $16.02 million, respectively, for

2000.



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