NEW YORK — Interpublic’s PR division reported revenues up for the 2019 financial year up by “low single digits” in organic and on an as-reported basis, the holding company has announced.

PR revenues were up “slightly” in organic and on an as-reported basis for the 4th quarter of 2018 – the 7th consecutive quarter of growth for the group, said Andy Polansky, the former Weber Shandwick global CEO who last July was named chairman and CEO of Interpublic Group's Constituency Management Group (CMG) division.

The group includes Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries, Rogers & Cowan, which merged with PMK·BNC in July 2019, and Current Global, which launched in early April last year with the merger of Current Marketing and Creation.

The results compare with mid single-digit growth for the 2018 financial year for the PR group.

Organic revenues for the whole of CMG – which represents 25 marketing agencies – for the year ending December 31 were up 2.3%, or 1% on an as-reported basis, while those for the 4th quarter of 2019 were up 3.3%, or 2.6% on an as-reported basis.

Polansky told PRovoke: “The PR group registered growth in 2019 in every geographic region in each quarter. Healthcare, technology and food & drink were the big engines of growth in the portfolio.”

He added that all the group’s PR agencies “had a very strong year in the year in UK, so we haven’t seen any effect from Brexit.”

Regarding specific agencies, Polansky said: “Rogers & Cowan, Current Global and DeVries Global had strong double digit growth. Weber Shandwick had low single-digit as-reported and organic growth for the year. Weber was slightly down in the 4th quarter, but is off to a strong start for 2020, and that’s true for all our brands.”

He said Golin “had a strong back half” winning new accounts including Twitter, and strong business conversion in North America, including demand for experience working with influencers. Current Global also had “double digit growth after a number of big wins, with Fedex for US corporate, some work for Pfizer, LinkedIn and Microsoft in India, and in consumer practice they had big wins including L’Oreal.”

In terms of the outlook for 2020, Polansky said: “Business is solid. We’ve had lots of success with our collaborative model. We already have considerable scale and depth of expertise and we’re bringing more compelling creative and solutions on the back of a lot of momentum from last year. We’re well-positioned.”

He added that IPG was “naturally concerned about our people in relation to the coronavirus; we’re monitoring that situation and looking to be as supportive as possible. When you get something like this, you’re just worried that your people are OK.”