Holding company share prices drop to fresh low amid coronavirus outbreak

WPP and Publicis share prices fall 8% and 6% respectively over weekend.

Stock market: share prices for holding companies are down
Stock market: share prices for holding companies are down

Advertising and media stock fell to a fresh low when financial markets opened this morning (Monday) as coronavirus jitters continue.

Burson Cohn & Wolfe, H+K and Finsbury owner WPP’s share price fell about 8% to 669.40p when the London Stock Exchange opened today (9 March), having closed at 724.40p on Friday. On Monday 3 March it was 740.40, equating to a week on week drop of 10%.

The holding company’s Group M network of agencies is the biggest media buyer in Britain with roughly 40% market share.

Publicis Groupe – owner of PR shops MSL Group and Kekst CNC – saw its share price open at 31.00 euro cents, down 6% from 32.85 cents. The business is made up of agencies including Zenith, Starcom and Bartle Bogle Hegarty. It began last week (Monday 3 March) at 69.68 – down 6% over the week. 

The New York Stock Exchange crashed upon opening today, down more than 6% at the time of writing. Omnicom, which owns FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli, as well as ad shops Adam & Eve/DDB, OMD and PHD, opened at under $US62, down more than 6% from Friday's closing price, which was in turn 6% down on the previous week. 

Interpublic, owner of PR shops including Weber Shandwick, Golin and DeVries Global, plus McCann and FCB, is also on the NYSE. At the time of writing it was down nearly 8%, at $US18.13. It closed on Friday at $US20.04 cents, having begun last week at $US21.50 – down 7%.

Campaign reported at the end of last month that holding company share prices fell by as much as 10% in a week.

The impact is also being felt on TV, as ITV reported last week that it expects a 10% drop in adspend in April as travel brands delay their campaigns because of Covid-19. 

A version of this article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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