Diana Marszalek 22 Oct 2020 // 12:31PM GMT
NEW YORK — Interpublic’s PR group reported a drop in revenue in the mid-single digits on an organic basis during the third quarter of 2020, the second full quarter since the Covid-19 pandemic sent the industry reeling.
Andy Polansky, the former Weber Shandwick global CEO who last year was named chairman and CEO of Interpublic Group's Constituency Management Group (CMG) division, said the group’s Q3 revenue also fell in the mid-single digits on an as reported basis.
The earnings report for the CMG division, which includes Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries, Rogers & Cowan PMK and Current Global, reflects an uptick in business from Q2, when the group reported a high single digit drop on an organic basis and in the low double digits on an as-reported basis.
Polansky said that while it “continues to be a challenging environment” he is “encouraged” with new business coming in. “Our pipeline is stronger now than it was this time last year, which reflects a demand for our specialized services” he said.
Healthcare, consumer and tech practices were “very strong” during the third quarter, Polansky said. Business was strongest in North America, Latin America and continental Europe.
Golin and Weber Shandwick performed particularly well, as did specialty firms ReviveHealth and DNA Communications. Rogers & Cowan PMK also is winning new business.
IPG also announced this week that executive VP and COO Philippe Krakowsky, a nearly 19-year vet of the company, will succeed Michael Roth as CEO starting Jan. 1. Roth, who was named co-CEO in 2004 and CEO the following year, will become executive chairman of the IPG board at that time.
"Philippe is the right CEO for the next era at IPG," Roth said in a statement. "He is a brilliant strategist and effective leader who has played a key role in developing our open architecture client service model, as well as modernizing our data, marketing services and media solutions. Our partnership over the years has been a key factor in our long-term success with both clients and our people.”
“Through his multiple experiences running businesses and corporate functions at IPG, Philippe has built an outstanding track record of delivering growth for clients and IPG. In working with him for these past 18 years, I’ve seen firsthand that Philippe is a values-driven leader who is well-positioned to lead IPG and our clients into a new era of marketing. He cares about people and leads with his head and his heart,” Roth said.
This week's news comes roughly five months after IPG agencies (as well as others across the business) conducted layoffs in response to a slowdown in business due to the Covid crisis. It also was the second quarter the group experienced a drop in revenue after eight consecutive quarters of growth.
Polansky said that the PR group has no set plans to reopen its offices and will “see what early next year brings.”
“Our top concern naturally is the health of our employees and we continue to be cautious,” he said.
“I’ve been proud of how are teams are powering through this period, which has been a difficult one for everyone, by showing resilience and staying connected to clients and each other in offices all over the world,” he said.