WPP reports 5% increase in PR revenue in H1

NEW YORK: WPP reported year-on-year like-for-like revenues up 5% to $709 million for its PR and public affairs businesses in the first six months of 2011, excluding the effects of currency movements and acquisitions.

NEW YORK: WPP reported year-on-year like-for-like revenues up 5% to $709 million for its PR and public affairs businesses in the first six months of 2011, excluding the effects of currency movements and acquisitions.

Like-for-like revenues for advertising and media investment management in the same period increased 8.1% and branding & identity, healthcare, and specialist communications grew 7.3%.

In the first half of 2011, PR and public affairs produced a profit margin of 15.5%, up 0.7% on last year, which compared favorably to advertising's 12.3%, consumer insight's 7.5%, and branding & identity, healthcare, and specialist communications' 10.7%.

In the period, WPP posted total revenues up 6.1% at $7.7 billion, with like-for-like revenue growing 5.4% in North America in H1. In the second quarter, like-for-like revenues company-wide went up 5.6%, following 7.3% growth in the first quarter.

Earlier this week, WPP announced its JWT advertising agency was named AOR for The Corporation for Travel Promotion, following an RFP process involving two other agencies. JWT won the $200 million tourism account with the help of sister agencies MediaCom, Hill & Knowlton, and The Brand Union.

Ben Trounson, SVP and director of connected marketing practices at Hill & Knowlton, said the relationship formed after he met Erin Johnson, CCO of JWT, earlier this year to discuss how the two agencies could collaborate on new business opportunities.

“Most clients these days require a highly integrated approach across various marketing disciplines,” he explained, “so when this opportunity came along for WPP to be a lead agency, JWT contacted us and we came together to be their PR arm in developing an overall strategic approach.”

Hill & Knowlton will use various traditional and social media platforms to communicate to tourists and stakeholders around the world about travel opportunities in America.

“Americans are competing for the hearts, minds, and dollars of potential tourists around the world who are considering multiple destinations, so we want to bring to life why you should come to America or come back again,” Trounson added.

In addition to Hill & Knowlton, WPP's PR firms include Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe, and Ogilvy PR.

Recently, Ogilvy Worldwide retained a multimillion-dollar, five-year contract with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute following a competitive RFP process.

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