NEW YORK — PR firms from Interpublic Group's CMG unit — which include Weber Shandwick, Golin and DeVries — reported mid-single-digit growth for the first half of 2016, supported by solid Q2 earnings.
The overall CMG unit, which also includes other specialist marketing firms, grew by 2.8% on an organic basis for the quarter, to $369.4m. For 2016 the group is up 3% on an organic basis to $709.8m. During the earnings call, IPG CEO Michael Roth again called out notable growth at “most” of IPG’s agencies, including Weber Shandwick.
Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky told the Holmes Report that his firm grew in the "high single-digits" in H1 2016, led by double-digit growth in 17 markets, including India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Korea and its California and Chicago offices in the US. He noted the firm saw “strong” growth in every region. Consumer and healthcare experienced particularly strong organic growth, meanwhile corporate and public affairs also saw solid growth.
“We’re starting to see a pickup in technology that’s reflected in our growth in Northern California,” Polansky noted. “Digital continues to be a powerful engine of our business and is approximately 30% of our revenue.” He added, digital isn’t considered a business unit and is instead “embedded” into the firm’s overall portfolio as part of its integrated work.
He is “cautiously optimistic” that Brexit won’t impact the firm’s growth in the UK — which is one of Weber Shandwick’s largest markets.
“We continue to be active on M&A front,” Polansky said, noting the firm is looking for complementary expertise rather than geography expansions because the firm already has a major footprint in most markets.
Overall, organic revenue for IPG was up 3.7% in Q2 and 5.1% in H1.