Diana Marszalek 29 Jul 2020 // 3:38PM GMT
NEW YORK — Interpublic’s PR group reported a drop in revenue in the high single digits on an organic basis during the second quarter of 2020, during which the industry took a battering from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Andy Polansky, the former Weber Shandwick global CEO who a year ago was named chairman and CEO of Interpublic Group's Constituency Management Group (CMG) division, said the group’s Q2 revenue fell slightly more — in the low double digits — on an as reported basis.
The CMG division, which includes Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries, Rogers & Cowan PMK and Current Global, reported a low single digit drop in revenue on both an organic and as reported basis during the first half of the year.
Polansky said the dip in revenue resulted from IPG's PR agencies feeling the same financial impact from the pandemic-related “macro-disruptions” affecting the wider business and industry.
However, he credited new business wins by Weber Shandwick (Tata Trusts, Shatterproof), Golin (Wavemaker Labs, Photobox) and Rogers & Cowan PMK to the group’s relatively strong performance given the circumstances. “We continue to outperform the sector and win market share,” he said.
Healthcare, CPG, food and beverage, financial services and technology practices did particularly well during the three months ending June 30, he said. While North American business held up during the quarter, business in Asia, particularly in China, weakened, he said.
The Q2 report comes roughly two 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 first quarter the group experienced a drop in revenue after eight consecutive quarters of growth.
Polansky said he is “optimistic about business in the long-term,” but has no immediate plans to bring back staff given the persistence of the pandemic and the “great deal of uncertainty” that comes with it.
“We took actions around the world across our agencies and in the second quarter, and that was painful process, and we look forward we are positioning ourselves for a strong 2021,” he said. “I feel good about our offerings, and good about the teams we have leading our different agencies.”
The IPG report comes a day after Omnicom released its Q2 earnings. That holding company's PR group experienced a 13.9% decline in revenue during the quarter, but outperformed other disciplines.