IPG PR firms post double-digit revenue growth in Q2

For the first six months of the year, the PR firms registered mid-single-digit organic growth.

Dxtra CEO Andy Polansky.
Dxtra CEO Andy Polansky.

NEW YORK: The PR firms in Interpublic Group’s Dxtra network registered double-digit growth on both an as-reported and organic basis in Q2 2021, compared with the prior year, said Andy Polansky, the division’s CEO, on Wednesday.  

That compared to a revenue decrease in the high single digits on an organic basis and low double digits on an as-reported basis in Q2 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The holding company’s PR firms saw low-single-digit revenue growth on both an as-reported and organic basis in Q2 2019. 

The PR firms in Dxtra are Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries Global, Current Global, Rogers & Cowan/PMK, ReviveHealth and United Minds. Dxtra also contains marketing specialist and events shops. In October, IPG overhauled its former Constituency Management Group operating unit and relaunched it as IPG Dxtra. Dxtra posted a 15.1% organic revenue increase in Q2 to $315.1 million.

In the first six months of the year, the PR firms within Dxtra registered mid-single-digit growth on an organic and high-single digit growth on an as-reported basis.

In Q2, Golin, Weber Shandwick, Rogers & Cowan/PMK and Current Global had strong quarters. Weber specialty units such as ReviveHealth, United Minds, Resolute Digital, Flipside and Powell Tate bolstered the group’s performance, as well, said Polansky.

During the quarter, Weber also made a series of executive announcements, including naming Susan Howe as president in June.

Golin had several noteworthy account wins, such as CooperVision, which it won in partnership with its Virgo Health sister agency, and LinkedIn, which brought Golin on as its social media agency partner. 

“We are seeing increasing demand for the integrated solutions we are providing through the collective of IPG Dxtra firms and IPG as a whole as we partner more throughout the network,” Polansky said.

North America and EMEA had particularly high growth rates for the PR agencies, he added. The Dxtra unit as a whole had strong sector performance in food and beverage, auto, healthcare and government categories.

More broadly, Dxtra is beginning to see a pickup in its events marketing business.

“We had a strong return to growth in our sports and experiential businesses both as we pivoted to virtual and hybrid activations but also as companies begin to plan for a return to live events,” said Polansky.

IPG's creative-focused IAN network was up 20.5% in the period in terms of organic revenue to $1.9 billion. The holding company overall reported a 19.8% organic revenue increase in Q2, compared with Q2 2020, to $2.3 billion, including a 17.4% organic revenue increase in the U.S. IPG posted net income of $267.8 million in Q2, compared to a loss of $43.9 million a year ago.

The holding company’s organic net revenue performance was positive in Q2 around the world, up by 17.4% in the U.S. to $1.2 billion, rising by 18.7% in the U.K. to $147.2 million and up by 27.9% in Continental Europe to $147.9 million. It also rose by 14% in Asia-Pacific to $162.6 million, by 49% in Latin America to $62.3 million and by 29.2% in all other markets to $104.4 million.  

“Looking forward, we are cautiously optimistic about our businesses that will continue in strong growth mode,” said Polansky. He added that the company is monitoring the public health situation around the world in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic as it begins to plan “for a safe return to the office.”

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