NEW YORK — Omnicom on Tuesday reported that PR agency revenue was flat in Q2, which the holding group pegged in part to 2023 being a non-election year in the US.

During the second quarter of the year, Omnicom PR Group — which includes FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli — did not fare as well as five of the holding company’s other disciplines including experiential growth (9.2%); advertising & media (5.1%); healthcare (3%); commerce & brand consulting (2.4%); and precision marketing (2.3%). Execution & support fell 3.8%.

In its Q2 earnings report, the company reported Omnicom as a whole saw worldwide revenue in the three months ending June 30 increase 3.4 % on an organic basis to nearly $3.6 billion.

Growth was led by an increase in revenue from organic growth of $121.4 million, or 3.4%.  Acquisition revenue, net of disposition revenue, decreased $54.3 million, or 1.5%, primarily reflecting dispositions in the execution & support discipline in the first and second quarter of 2023.  The impact of foreign currency translation was a decrease of $24.4 million, or 0.7%.

Organic growth by region in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the second quarter of 2022 was as follows: 2.4% for the US, 7.5% for Asia Pacific, 2.6% for Euro markets & other Europe, 8.4% for other North America, 2.5% for the UK, 6.9% for Latin America, and 4.0% for the Middle East & Africa.

“Overall, we're very pleased with our first-half financial results and our progress in key strategic initiatives,” said CEO John Wren. “While we remain optimistic for the second half of the year, we continue to plan cautiously given the number of uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment.”

With Q2 flat, Omnicom capped eight consecutive quarters of PR growth, having seen a 5.8% increase in Q1, 12.7% in Q4 2022, a 12.6% increase in Q3 2022, a 15.8% increase in the second quarter of 2022, a 14% increase in Q1 2022, a 4.4% increase in Q4 2021, a 10.5%. increase in revenue during Q3 2021 and 15.1% growth in revenue during the second quarter of the year — a turnaround from the 3.5% decline the PR group experienced in the first quarter of 2021.

That had followed the positive turn Omnicom’s PR agencies saw in Q4 2020, when the group’s revenue rose 0.2%, the first reported uptick in business since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. The group saw revenue drop 3.4% in Q3 of 2020 and 13.5% during Q2, the height of the pandemic shutdown.

All of which occurred against the backdrop of Omnicom and its agencies, including its PR firms, implementing layoffs and furloughs around the world in response to business drying up.

The report also comes roughly two years years since Omnicom hired Chris Foster as CEO of its $1.3 billion PR agency unit, and close to two years after Karen van Bergen relinquished the role.