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IPG PR Firms Hit Double-Digit Growth For H1 2014

Asia Pacific, EMEA, Global, North America

Aarti Shah 18 Jul 2014

NEW YORK — Interpublic Group's PR firms delivered double-digit growth in the first half of 2014, boosted by strong second quarter earnings.

The group’s CMG unit, which includes PR firms Weber Shandwick, Golin and DeVries, grew 6.8% on an organic basis in the first half of 2014 to reach $677.2m in revenue. Looking at only Q2, CMG’s growth was up 7.9% on an organic basis.

Meanwhile, the PR firms continued to outpace the CMG figures. In the first half of 2014, the PR firms hit double-digit growth on an organic basis. For Q2, the PR firms reached near double-digit organic growth. During this morning’s earnings call, Interpublic Group CEO Michael Roth once again singled out CMG agencies, including the PR firms, for their strong performance.

“We continued to see very strong performance at CMG, driven by Weber, Golin and DeVries in public relations, as well as Octagon in sports marketing,” Roth said. He also called out Weber’s acquisition of Sweden creative shop Prime as a move that will “further enhance Weber Shandwick’s social practice throughout Europe.” 

Weber CEO Andy Polansky said the agency saw double-digit organic growth in the US, Brazil, China, Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. Other strong markets included the UK, Germany and Switzerland. He also noted business in Italy and Spain had “stabilized.”

IPG’s largest PR firm also had big wins in its tech, consumer, healthcare and corporate practices in the first half of 2014. When it comes to services, its content and digital offers were the biggest drivers for growth. Digital and content make up about 30% of Weber’s overall global revenues.

“I feel bullish about the continued strength of our business,” Polansky noted.

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