Polansky: IPG Dxtra PR firms’ revenue falls by mid-single digits in Q4

The group saw a similar decline for all of 2020.

Andy Polansky
Andy Polansky

NEW YORK: The PR firms in Interpublic Group’s Dxtra posted revenue that fell on a mid-single-digit organic and as-reported basis in Q4 2020 and for all of last year, said Andy Polansky, the division’s CEO, on Wednesday. 

He noted that the full-year and Q4 performances were both in comparison to low-single-digit growth in their respective periods of 2019. 

In October, IPG overhauled its Constituency Management Group operating unit and relaunched it as IPG Dxtra. The PR firms in Dxtra are Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries Global, Current Global, Rogers & Cowan/PMK, ReviveHealth and United Minds.

Dxtra posted a revenue decrease of 15.1% in Q4 2020 to $298.7 million. For the full year, Dxtra's revenue dipped 11.2% to $1.1 billion.

“We saw an uptick in our PR businesses in the last few months of the year, which is an encouraging sign as we look to return to growth as 2021 progresses,” Polansky said. “Some of our agencies, including Golin, Current Global, ReviveHealth and United Minds registered strong growth in Q4.”

Sectors that saw the strongest performance in the quarter included healthcare, technology and CPG.

Golin had a string of new business wins in Q4, including Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Health division, which selected the agency to handle PR for its North America Skin Health business; General Mills, which brought the agency on to focus on external comms; Tourism New Zealand in EMEA; and Roche in APAC.

In Q4, Weber Shandwick was selected by the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases to promote vaccines for influenza and the work of the organization. Weber also introduced Juice, which puts employee flexibility at the core for its global workforce. The agency also added key senior executives to its leadership team, such as Brian Offutt as chief workforce innovation and operations officer.

Current Global also built out its corporate health and tech practices and won a number of new clients including energy company Enel and animal health company Covetrus.

Interpublic as a whole posted a revenue drop of 5.4% for the quarter to $2.3 billion and 4.8% for the full year to $8.1 billion. Net income was $117 million in Q4, down from $342.2 million, and $354.2 million for the full year, down from $673.9 million in 2019.

The holding company’s revenue performance was mixed in the fourth quarter by geography, down organically by 1.8% in the U.S., 9.7% in the U.K. and 7.3% in Continental Europe. It also dropped by 17.4% in Asia-Pacific. It was up by 2.3% in Latin America.

U.S. revenue decreased by 2.9% for all of 2020 and was down by 9.2% in the U.K. and 4.4% in Continental Europe. Revenue decreased by 13.6% organically in Asia-Pacific last year.

“The health crisis brought about many challenges in 2020, but I am proud of the resiliency of our teams and how they adapted to new ways of working and how they are collaborating to bring new solutions to clients,” said Polansky. “We are leveraging capabilities we have across IPG Dxtra and are out in front in a number of key areas, including a shift to virtual and hybrid events and drawing on the expertise we have in digital and data to support clients as they focus more on ecommerce.”

He said IPG Dxtra’s PR agencies are well-positioned for 2021.

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