Long-awaited IPG results show that PR is a bright spot

NEW YORK: The Interpublic Group's many-times-delayed September 30 financial reports indicate that PR remains a relatively positive sector for the beleaguered holding company.

NEW YORK: The Interpublic Group's many-times-delayed September 30 financial reports indicate that PR remains a relatively positive sector for the beleaguered holding company.

The Constituent Management Group (CMG), the IPG division that houses most of its PR agencies, plus other marketing services agencies, posted revenues of $936 million in 2004, down less than 1% from 2003.

In its filing, the company said, "The organic revenue decline was ... offset slightly by growth in our [PR] business."

"For us, this really isn't a client issue; it's a holding company issue," said Harris Diamond, CEO of both Weber Shandwick and CMG. "We [remain] optimistic about this year and next."

One IPG PR agency executive said the restatement's long-term impact will be positive and expressed doubt at the speculation that IPG could sell off some of its individual units.

"It would be nonsensical to sell off pieces," the executive said. "They don't need the cash."

IPG's PR agencies include Weber Shandwick, GolinHarris, MWW Group, Carmichael Lynch Spong, and DeVries.

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