Diana Marszalek 10 Feb 2021 // 6:11PM GMT
NEW YORK — Interpublic’s PR group reported a drop in revenue in the mid-single digits during 2020, as well as during Q4, capping a year during which the Covid pandemic sent businesses reeling for three consecutive quarters.
Andy Polansky, the former Weber Shandwick global CEO who last year was named chairman and CEO of the division in 2019, said the full-year and quarterly declines occurred on both as-reported and organic bases. The PR and marketing group, which was rebranded IPG Dxtra in October, includes PR firms Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries, Rogers & Cowan PMK and Current Global.
The full-year 2020 report includes the impact of the modest growth the group experienced during the first quarter of the year, before the coronavirus outbreak forced the widespread closing of business worldwide.
The Q4 earnings report, meantime, shows the group operated at roughly the same level it did in Q3 2020, when revenue also was down in the mid-single digits on organic and as-reported bases. Both of which were improvements over the second quarter of the year — the first full quarter impacted by the pandemic — when the group reported a high-single digit drop in revenue on an organic basis and in the low-double digits on an as-reported basis.
IPG's earnings report echoes Edelman's full year report earlier this month, which revealed overall revenues for 2020 were also down in the mid-single digits, with losses of 5.7% overall.
“We’ve seen an uptick in our PR businesses, which is an encouraging sign as we look to return to growth,” Polansky said.
Golin, ReviveHealth, United Minds and Current Global performed particularly well in Q4, thanks to new business wins; healthcare was a notably strong sector, with “strong performances” by Weber Shandwick, ReviveHealth, dna Communications and Virgo Health, Polansky said.
North America and Latin America were the year’s best-performing regions.
Polansky said he expects to see business continue to improve during 2021, noting that some of the group’s firms are back to hiring talent after IPG agencies (as well as others across the business) conducted layoffs last year in response to a slowdown in business due to the Covid crisis.
“I’m really proud of the resilience of our team and how we’ve adapted to new ways of working, and how our teams are collaborating to bring new solutions to clients,” he said.