NEW YORK — IPG's PR and experiential agency group reported 3.7% growth on an organic basis in Q2 2023, marking two years of quarterly growth since the height of the Covid pandemic.

Parent Interpublic Group said the quarter saw “strong, balance growth” across its experiential and PR agencies, which include Weber Shandwick, Golin, Current Global and R&CPMK.

Among PR firms, Golin performed “particularly well,” IPG said, with new business from the Chicago Blackhawks and Solidcore. Weber Shandwick Collective saw “continued solid growth” in Q2 driven by the healthcare sector, IPG said. Current Global was among “strong performers,” as was R&CPMK, which secured new business from Sirius XM and Reese Witherspoon's production company Hello Sunshine, the holding company said.

IPG as a whole, however, saw a dip in Q2. Net revenue was $2.33 billion, a decrease of 2.0% from the second quarter of 2022. The organic decrease of net revenue was 1.7% from the second quarter of 2022, compared to an organic increase of 7.9% during the second quarter of 2022.

Net revenue for the first half of 2023 was $4.51 billion, a decrease of 2.1% from the first half of 2022. The organic decrease of net revenue was 0.9% from the first half of 2022, compared to an organic increase of 9.6% during the first half of 2022.]

"During the second quarter, we saw the same puts-and-takes on revenue that we have identified and discussed since the beginning of the year. Notably, among our client sectors, tech continued to weigh significantly on growth. In addition, modestly heightened macro uncertainty impacted certain of our specialty assets and traditional consumer agencies. Concurrently, we continued to deliver strong growth in areas of the business that have been important drivers of our success over several years, namely our media offerings and the healthcare sector. We also saw solid growth in disciplines such as public relations and our experiential offerings during the quarter,” said IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky.

“Taken together, these factors resulted in Q2 organic revenue performance that is inconsistent with our expectations and our long-term track record of strong growth. Despite this challenge, our operating discipline was evident in our ability to deliver a favorable margin result,” Krakowsky said.

“Given our first six months, we are revising our full-year organic growth expectation to 1% to 2%, while remaining fully committed to our existing margin target for the year of 16.7%, which represents margin expansion relative to 2022. Our new business performance to date this year has been exceptionally strong, featuring wins in many of the industry’s largest and most competitive reviews. These speak to the strength of our offerings, underpinned by our foundational data and technology infrastructure, and will provide strong tailwinds as we move into the back half of this year and even more so in 2024,” he said.

Friday’s earnings report comes just over a year since Andy Polansky retired in June 2022 after a 38-year career with Interpublic Group and Weber Shandwick. Polansky spent the last three years of his career as chair and CEO of IPG’s Dxtra group, overseeing the holding group's PR, event and sports marketing agencies. The group now reports to Krakowsky.