Arun Sudhaman 21 Oct 2016 // 3:47PM GMT
NEW YORK — PR firms from Interpublic Group's CMG division — which include Weber Shandwick, Golin and DeVries Global — today reported solid growth for Q3 2016, continuing to outperform the market.
Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky told the Holmes Report that his firm grew in the mid-single digit range on an organic basis for the quarter, leading to high single-digit growth for the year to date.
"CMG PR firms continued to show steady growth in the third quarter," said Polansky. "As a group PR firms reported mid single-digit growth on an as-reported and organic basis for the quarter. Weber Shandwick and DeVries Global showed good growth. Golin saw growth and synergies from its Brooklyn Brothers acquisition."
For the year-to-date, added Polansky, CMG's PR firms have delivered "high single-digit" growth, on an organic basis. The CMG division as a whole posted 9.4% revenue growth during the quarter.
Polansky added that Weber Shandwick, the world's second biggest PR firm, had not yet seen any impact from the US presidential election campaign, or the Brexit decision in the UK. "We may see some shifts but they haven’t materialised to this point."
Instead he pointed to double-digit growth from 17 markets during Q3, including the US (New York, Chicago and the Bay Area); Asia (Singapore, Japan and India); Europe (Sweden, UK and Brussels) and the Middle East and Africa.
Growth in China had slowed, admitted Polansky, who described this as the "new normal,", while Brazil continues to face economic headwinds.
In terms of disciplines, Weber Shandwick benefited from strong growth across healthcare and consumer. Digital/social and content now account for 40% of the agency's revenue, while Polansky also described "more and more large-scale corporate reputation and employee engagement programmes."
"I’m still bullish about our business and our sector," he said. "The operating environment is getting more complex. But PR firms are able to provide the kind of advice — whether its engagement strategies across platforms or helping to navigate all the issues — that you need in the world today."