IPG CMG PR firms see low-single-digit growth in Q2

The CMG division as a whole posted an organic revenue increase of 1.9% in Q2 to $320.1 million.

Andy Polansky
Andy Polansky

NEW YORK: The PR firms within Interpublic Group’s Constituency Management Group registered low-single-digit revenue growth on both an as-reported and organic basis in Q2, newly minted CMG chairman and CEO Andy Polansky said Tuesday.

The Q2 percentage increase was in comparison to low-single-digit growth on an organic basis in Q2 2018 and mid-single-digit growth on an as-reported basis.

In the first six months of 2019, CMG PR firms had low-single-digit growth on an organic and as-reported basis, Polansky said.

CMG contains IPG’s specialty marketing firms across disciplines, including PR, sports marketing, experiential marketing, brand consulting and digital and social media marketing. Its PR firms include Weber Shandwick, Golin, Rogers & Cowan, DeVries Global and Current Global. The unit also includes specialist marketing agencies such as Jack Morton, FutureBrand and Octagon. Interpublic’s Integrated Agency Network largely consists of creative networks such as McCann, FCB and MullenLowe Group.

Weber Shandwick, Rogers & Cowan and Current had a particularly strong performance in the quarter, fueled by higher client spending and new business, Polansky said. Significant account wins included bottled-water company Icelandic Glacial naming Rogers & Cowan as its U.S. PR AOR and Michelin North America selecting Weber as PR AOR in place of incumbent Ketchum.

Interpublic Group’s CMG division as a whole posted an organic revenue increase of 1.9% in Q2 to $320.1 million.

In line with the PR firms within CMG, Weber had low-single-digit growth in Q2 on an as-reported and organic basis. However, for the first six months of 2019, the firm registered low-single-digit growth on an as-reported basis and mid-single-digit growth on an organic basis.

Nineteen Weber operations around the world had double-digit growth in Q2, "reflecting the strength of its global network," said Polansky. Its performance in EMEA and Latin America was strong in the quarter and in the first six months of the year, he added.

Polansky noted that there has been more collaboration across CMG as clients look for integrated solutions.

"We are seeing success with combining our entertainment capabilities at Rogers & Cowan and PMK-BNC with Weber, Golin and DeVries Global," he said. "We are also seeing success combining our United Minds consulting offer within Weber with the capabilities at FutureBrand. That is true with large-scale corporate and brand transformation projects in particular."

He added that the healthcare teams at Weber, Golin, ReviveHealth and dna Communications are sometimes combining forces when appropriate to work on large projects for clients.

"Those are some of the interesting ways the business continues to evolve and where we are seeing success, and I think we are winning market share as a result," Polansky explained.

Last week, Interpublic Group promoted Polansky to CMG chairman and CEO. He was replaced as chief executive officer of Weber by president Gail Heimann. 

"This leadership team has worked together to keep Weber Shandwick at the forefront of contemporary brand-building during a transformative era of marketing and communications," Interpublic CEO Michael Roth said on IPG's Q2 earnings call. "We're pleased to have them move into these new roles."

He added that with Heimann’s promotion, "IPG has one of the highest-ranking women leaders in the PR space, a point we take particular pride in."

Roth also noted that Golin’s new business wins included Porsche in Asia-Pacific and IT service management company Verra Mobility. 

Interpublic Group as a whole posted revenue of $2.5 billion in the period, up 3% organically. Net income increased 15.6% from $147.8 million to $172.8 million. The holding company beat analysts’ expectations, according to reports.

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