NEW YORK: First-quarter revenue decreased 13.8% at the Constituency Management Group (CMG) division of the Interpublic Group (IPG), which contains the holding company's PR agencies. Revenues dropped to $210.4 million from $244.1 million during the same period one year ago, representing a 7% organic decrease during the period.
PR firms included in the CMG unit include Weber Shandwick, GolinHarris, MWW Group, DeVries, and Carmichael Lynch Spong. The unit includes non-PR agencies as well, including KRC Research and FutureBrand.
Harris Diamond, CEO of CMG and WS, said the revenue of the combined PR businesses was flat year over year, having a "slightly better" quarter than the rest of its business.
"In a very, very tough environment, we were basically flat year over year with a tough [comparison] to the first quarter of last year," he said. "I think that what's happening is that our agencies – Golin, Weber Shandwick, MWW – my sense is that we are taking market share."
IPG's advertising-focused Integrated Agency Networks (IAN) division, saw its revenues decrease to $1.11 billion during the first quarter from $1.24 billion during the same period last year, representing a total revenue decrease of 10.2% and an organic revenue decline of 5.4%.
Overall, the holding company's revenues declined 10.8% in total from $1.49 billion to $1.33 billion for the first quarter, year over year. IPG saw a net loss attributable to the company of $73.6 million during the first quarter. The holding company, however, surpassed analyst expectations for the period by posting a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, according to a Reuters report.
Frank Mergenthaler, CFO of IPG, also revealed during the earnings call that the holding company cut about 2,800 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce, during the past six months.Fellow holding company WPP Group, owner of Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe, and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, said April 28 that it would not meet its full-year forecasts, and that revenue dropped 5.8% on a like-for-like basis in the first quarter.