Diana Marszalek 24 Jul 2018 // 4:02PM GMT
NEW YORK—Interpublic’s public relations agencies' revenue on an organic basis rose slightly during the second quarter of 2018, ending a four-quarter streak of revenue declines.
Q2 revenues for the PR group rose by low single digits on an organic basis, and by mid single digits on an as reported basis.
The report comes after a tough 2017 for the agencies — which include Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries, Current Marketing and more — and start of this year.
While Interpublic's PR firms have consistently outperformed the market in recent years, PR revenues from the group's CMG were down for the last three consecutive quarters of 2017 and the year as a whole amid the economic turbulence that gripped the marketing communications sector last year. That slump continued into the first quarter of 2018, during which revenue dipped on an organic basis but showed a slight uptick on a reported basis.
According to Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky, Weber Shandwick's Q2 revenues mirrored those of the group, up on an organic basis by low single digits and by mid single digits on a reported basis, with the difference between the two figures due to fluctuations in foreign currency.
Polansky noted that the uptick in revenue reflects a more positive tone and outlook for the industry, which he expects to continue.
"I think there is certainly caution in the market but overall we are seeing client spending increase," he said. "If you look at 2018 vs 2017 it's certainly a healthier environment. And I would say that I expect us to have a very strong back half of the year."
He noted that during the three months ending June 30 Weber Shandwick saw particularly strong performances in 11 markets across industries, noting that healthcare was a major driver. Those markets are Africa, China,Thailand, Mexico, the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands, Korea and Mexico, as well as three US markets.