Diana Marszalek 28 Oct 2020 // 2:29AM GMT
NEW YORK — Omnicom PR agencies saw revenue drop 3.4% in Q3, but fared far better than they did in Q2 during the height of the Covid shutdown.
In the third quarter earnings report, the holding group reported companywide losses during the three months ending September 30, primarily due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Omnicom as a whole during Q3 saw its worldwide revenue decline 11.5% to $3,206.5 million from the same period one year earlier.
Omnicom PR Group — whose agencies include FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli — experienced less of a loss than other Omnicom disciplines including advertising, which was down 11.7%; CRM consumer experience, which decreased 19.3% ;and CRM execution & support decreased 19.4%. Healthcare increased 3.8%.
Although down, those numbers are substantially better than what Omnicom reported for Q2, during which PR revenue fell 13.9% year-over-year and the holding group’s revenue dropped by 24.7%. PR revenue had earlier risen a tick during Q1 of this year.
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.
During his third quarter earnings call, CEO John Wren said the company is bracing for continued challenges through the end of the year. He said:
“While the third quarter trend was positive and we expect to see continuing improvement in several industries and markets, there are a number of challenges and uncertainties as we look to the fourth quarter. First is the trajectory of the virus globally, which will impact the pace of economic recovery in each country we operate in. Next is the outcome of the U.S. election and potential delays in its results. Third is the timing and effect of government stimulus programs in the U.S. and around the world. And last, our labor market conditions, especially as stimulus programs end and their effect on the overall rate of economic recovery.
All of these factors create greater uncertainty in our financial forecast and a much lower level of visibility than we’ve experienced in the past across our businesses. This is especially so in our project-based services as well as in the year-end project spend that we normally expect to see from our clients. As a result, we continue to focus on the things we can control. Our agencies are dedicated to ensuring the safety of their staff, servicing their clients, pursuing new business opportunities, aligning their staffing levels with revenue and aggressively managing their costs. Each of them is being asked to plan for alternative scenarios for accelerated growth as well as potential declines in client spending.
I want to thank our people for their outstanding work and ask everyone to stay safe. While 2020 has been a difficult year in many ways, I’m incredibly pleased with how we’ve operated and the progress we’ve made in executing our strategies.”