Revenues for the PR and public affairs unit were $295.9 million for the first quarter of 2009, compared to $245.5 million in 2008, the company reported today. Each of the three other disciplines saw a drop in like-for-like revenue, with the branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications unit slumping by 7.9%.
Total like-for-like revenue fell 5.8% to $3.1 billion for the first quarter this year, compared to $2.9 billion for the like period a year ago. Total reported revenues increased by 36% to about $3.1 billion, reflecting the weakness of the pound and the company's acquisition of TNS.
WPP noted in a statement that the economic climate in North America and the UK affected the PR and public affairs discipline although it benefitted from new media and polling research. Overall, cuts in both client and consumer spending contributed to the company's first quarter revenues. Advertising and media investment management was the least affected by the downturn on a like-for-like basis, the company said.
WPP's PR and public affairs firms include Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, and Cohn & Wolfe.