Aarti Shah 18 Apr 2013 // 11:00PM GMT
NEW YORK — Interpublic Group’s organic PR revenues grew by 4 percent in Q1 2013 compared to last year during the same period, driven mostly by Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris.
PR agencies Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris outpaced the group’s overall PR revenue in Q1 2013, with Weber reporting 5.3 percent organic growth over Q1 2012 and GolinHarris citing 5.6 percent organic growth over the same period. Consumer PR shop DeVries and public affairs firm Cassidy & Associates are included in the overall PR revenues. All are part of the CMG unit, which houses most of the group’s PR, branding and event management operations, reported overall organic revenue increase of 14 percent to $301.9 million in Q1 2013.
Weber CEO Andy Polansky said the agency’s is “off to a strong start in 2013” after noting a notable uptick towards the latter half of last year. In particular, its digital and social offerings have performed strongly, in addition to its consumer marketing, healthcare and corporate practices. He added the agency has seen “encouraging developments” and expects “a rebound” within its tech practice with Tim Fry taking over the global practice earlier this year.
GolinHarris CEO Fred Cook said the agency’s reported growth in Q1 2013 - including revenues from acquisitions - is 13 percent over Q1 2012, mostly attributed to its acquisition of UK-based Virgo Health in 2012. The agency was also buoyed by the recent consolidation of Walmart's consumer PR.
It is understood that CMG’s public affairs practice remains soft, a continuation of gridlock in Washington DC that weighed the practice down last year. Growth in continental Europe also remained sluggish.
Overall, IPG reported Q1 2013 revenue at $1.54 billion, an organic revenue increase up 2.3 percent year-on-year for this period.
Yesterday, Omnicom Group reported organic PR revenue growth of 1.9 percent to $318.4 million over the same period last year. Omnicom is the parent company to PR agencies Ketchum, Fleishman-Hillard and Porter Novelli. Overall, global revenues are up nearly 3 percent to $3.4 billion year-on-year.