Arun Sudhaman 10 Feb 2017 // 3:56PM GMT
NEW YORK — PR firms within Interpublic Group's CMG division, which include Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries and Current, have reported mid-single-digit organic growth for both 4Q 2016 and the full year.
The results mark Weber Shandwick's 28th consecutive quarter of organic growth, which has included a number of years of double-digit revenue expansion.
Reported growth for the PR unit was nearly 10% for 4Q 2016 and in the high-single-digits for the whole year. Overall, Interpublic Group's CMG unit declined 0.9% in the fourth quarter, although full-year revenue was up 3.6% to $1.5bn.
Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky noted that Current Marketing delivered double-digit revenue growth for both 4Q 2016 and the full year, while his own agency (the world's second-largest PR firm) reported mid-single-digit organic growth for the quarter and full year.
He added that Golin and DeVries Global "are poised for a strong 2017" after "significant client wins in Q4," with Golin also benefiting from the acquisitions of Brooklyn Brothers in the UK and China's Magic Group.
"CMG also continued to deliver strong results and outstanding creative work, as well as taking further share in the PR space," said IPG CEO Michael Roth on an earnings call. "Weber Shandwick’s acquisition of Flipside, a specialized mobile and social agency out of London with strong development capabilities, will ensure that they increase the lead they already enjoy over most their competitors in the digital space."
"We continue to outperform the market," said Polansky of Weber Shandwick's performance, noting the difficulty in sustaining double-digit growth given the firm's size. "I think we have very hard comparisons."
Geographically, said Polansky, Weber Shandwick reported double-digit growth in 15 markets, including New York, Chicago, California, London, Africa, India, Singapore and Japan. "There was slower growth in China and Brazil but we still performed well."
Polansky pointed to healthcare and consumer marketing as specific drivers, along with digital/social media and content. "There is also strong demand for corporate issues and public affairs support given the significant geo-political challenges around the world."
"I believe we’ve built the firm for the digital age," added Polansky. "We’re seeing more digital work, continue to bolster our capabilities in creative and analytics. We’re expecting to have another good year."