Interpublic PR firms report mid-single-digit Q1 growth

IPG's Constituency Management Group, which contains most of Interpublic's PR firms as well as other agencies, reported 4.6% organic revenue growth in the first quarter to $346.3 million.

Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky
Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky

NEW YORK: The PR firms within Interpublic Group’s Constituency Management Group posted mid-single-digit as-reported and organic growth in the first quarter of 2017, Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky said Friday morning.

The growth rate was on top of mid-single-digit organic growth in the same quarter of last year.

The PR firms in CMG are Weber, Golin, DeVries Global, Current, Creation, and The Axis Agency. The unit also includes marketing specialist firms such as Jack Morton, FutureBrand, and Octagon. Much of Interpublic’s Integrated Agency Network consists of creative shops such as McCann Worldgroup, FCB, and MullenLowe Group.

Golin and DeVries Global recorded double-digit organic growth in Q1. Overall, Weber registered low-single-digit organic growth, in comparison to high-single-digit organic growth in Q1 2016, said Polansky. Golin had low-single-digit growth in the first quarter of last year, while DeVries was flat.

Weber achieved strong growth in international markets, including Japan, Germany, France, the U.K., Korea, and Mexico. Its healthcare and consumer marketing practices, along with its digital content marketing and social media teams, were key growth drivers, Polansky noted. 

"PR firms in the CMG group continue to show solid performance in the first quarter," he said. "The tone of the business is still favorable. The reputation of our PR firms has never been stronger; we continue to win market share."

Polansky added that he is cautiously optimistic about 2017.

"We see some uncertainties from a geopolitical and macroeconomic standpoint," he said. "We have seen a pick up in the pipeline in the last 60 days."

CMG reported 4.6% organic growth in the first quarter to $346.3 million.

The holding company as a whole saw organic growth of 2.7% in Q1 to $1.8 billion. Operating income and net income both improved to $29.7 million and $18.1 million, respectively, and its operating margin was 1.7%. IPG's profit beat expectations, but its revenue did not, according to MarketWatch.

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