Omnicom profit surges 24 per cent on strong international ad growth

Marcoms giant Omnicom’s strategy remains firmly focused on its three big ad agency brands – BBDO, DDB and TBWA – and their appeal seems to be growing in the world outside the US.

In the first quarter of 2011 Omnicom’s profits leapt 23.6 per cent to $201.9m on a 7.9 per cent increase in revenue to $3.15bn. Nearly half of this (47.6 per cent) came from outside the US with Europe performing with the big European markets of France, Germany and the UK leading the way.

Omnicom isn’t just an ad agency holding company of course, its Diversified Agency Services (DAS) run by Brit Anthony Wreford contains a large number of PR and other marketing services agencies. Omnicom’s global PR firm Porter Novelli recently acquired US PR firm Voce Communications.

But the big ad agency brands are key to Omnicom’s strategy (and its media buyer OMD of course). Omnicom has consistently outperformed its rivals WPP, Publicis Groupe and Interpublic as an ad agency owner, managing to create a formula that allows them room to breathe as well as contribute to the bottom line.

Abbott Mead Vickers/BBDO in the UK is a classic case, despite a patchy recent new business record it remains much bigger than the competition, billing £388m in 2010 against second-placed Interpublic-owned McCann-Erickson on £275m.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.