Diana Marszalek 09 Feb 2022 // 3:58AM GMT
NEW YORK — Omnicom PR agency revenue was up 6.3% in 2021 and 4.4% in Q4, marking the third consecutive quarterly lift since the height of the Covid pandemic.
In its year-end and Q4 earnings report, the holding company reported Omnicom as a whole saw worldwide revenue in 2021 increase 8.5% (10.2% organic growth) to $14,289 billion, and 2.6% (9.5% organic growth) to $3,855.9 million in Q4.
During 2021, Omnicom PR Group — which includes FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli — did not fare as well as other disciplines including advertising, whose revenue was up 10.7%; precision marketing, up 19%; commerce & brand consulting, up 9.9%; and experiential, whose revenue rose 27%. Execution & support, which grew by 4.2%, was the only discipline PR outperformed.
Organic growth in 2021 compared to 2020 across regional markets rose 8.1% for the US; 11.7% for Other North America; 8.8% for the UK; 13.6% for the Euro Markets & Other Europe; 13.7% for Asia Pacific; 9.4% for Latin America; and 26.4% for the Middle East & Africa.
While up 4.4%, the PR group did not fare as well as other disciplines during the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to +7.4% for advertising; +19.6% for precision marketing; +12.4% for commerce & brand consulting; +56.7% for experiential; and +5.2% for execution & support.
Regionally, revenue rose 7.8% in the US; 1.8% for Other North America; 10.1% for the UK; 12.7% for the Euro Markets & Other Europe; 7.8% for Asia Pacific; 7.3% for Latin America; and 48.1% for the Middle East & Africa.
"Once again, thanks to the efforts of our people across Omnicom, we were pleased to see strong results across all geographies and services, led by our focus on digital, precision marketing and consulting,” said chairman and CEO John Wren. “Our teams are working together in powerful new ways – with leading technology and data solutions — to deliver the best client outcomes in a rapidly evolving market. We are optimistic in our 2022 outlook and expect to continue build on our long-term record of improving profitability and sustained value creation."
With Q4 2021 up, Omnicom has had three consecutive quarters of PR growth, having seen a 10.5%. increase in revenue during Q3 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 10 months 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.