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
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
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