Diana Marszalek 14 Feb 2019 // 12:21PM GMT
NEW YORK—Interpublic’s PR revenue rose during the fourth quarter of 2018, the third consecutive positive quarter after ending a year-long streak of revenue declines.
Q4 revenues for the PR group rose by high-single digits on an organic basis and on an as reported basis. The PR group — which includes Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries, Rogers & Cowan and Current Marketing — experienced mid single digit growth for the full year 2018.
The gains signify an uptick for the group, which reported mid single digit growth on an organic bases in Q3 and low single digit gains on an organic basis in Q2. Those earnings came after a tough 2017 for the agencies that continued into the start in 2018.
While Interpublic's PR firms have consistently outperformed the market in recent years, PR revenues from the group's CMG were down for the last three consecutive quarters of 2017 and the year as a whole amid the economic turbulence that gripped the marketing communications sector last year. That slump continued into the first quarter of 2018, during which revenue dipped on an organic basis but showed a slight uptick on a reported basis.
According to Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky, Weber Shandwick's Q4 revenue growth beat the group as a whole, recording "strong double digit growth" on an organic and as reported basis, with the difference between the two figures due to fluctuations in foreign currency.
It was the strongest quarter Weber Shandwick has seen in a few years, he said. "We are seeing good momentum," Polansky said.
Weber Shandwick's full-year revenue growth mirrored that of the larger PR group, registering a rise in the mid single digits, he said.
Polansky noted that the uptick in revenue reflects a notable rise in Weber Shandwick's healthcare and technology business in particular.
Polansky also noted that during Q4, Weber Shandwick saw double digit growth in 16 offices including the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the UK, Brussels, India and Hong Kong.