Interpublic Group PR agency revenues drop 4.5 per cent in 2009

Interpublic Group (IPG), owner of PR agencies Weber Shandwick and Golin Harris, saw its revenues from PR drop by 4.5 per cent in 2009.

CEO of IPG's CMG division: Harris Diamond
CEO of IPG's CMG division: Harris Diamond

Harris Diamond, CEO of IPG's CMG division in which PR is housed alongside events and branding, told PRWeek ‘business was relatively flat' in 2009. While conditions ‘feel better', there has been no ‘dramatic pick-up' in recent months, he added.

Overall, the CMG division slumped by 16 per cent in 2009 compared with 2008. In organic terms, revenues dropped by almost 11 per cent, from $1.09bn in 2008 to $915m in 2009.

Diamond told PRWeek that IPG's PR agencies were hit hardest in Asia-Pacific and continental Europe: ‘The US was flat to slightly up. The UK held.'

He also noted that, in a conference call with analysts, IPG CEO Michael Roth pointed to the strong 2009 performance of Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris.

Diamond was not, however, overly optimistic about current conditions: ‘I wouldn't say the new business pipeline is overly vibrant. Europe is still a little slow and the US is just beginning to wake up.'

Interpublic Group's 2009 revenues fell by almost 11 percent in organic terms, from $6.96bn in 2008 to $6.03bn one year later.

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