Interpublic sets the pace for marcoms organic growth

Embattled WPP CEO Mark Read would doubtless like to know what’s in Michael Roth’s secret sauce at Interpublic.

IPG Q3 organic growth was five per cent in the US and six per cent in Europe, way ahead of everyone else, and is forecasting four to 4.5 per cent for the year. Net revenue for the first nine months of 2018 was up five per cent on 2017 at $5.62bn with a net profit of $292.7m.

Roth (below) says: “These results were driven by strong top- and bottom-line performance in media, as well as growth from our three global creative networks (McCann, FCB and MullenLowe), our marketing services agencies and our digital offerings.”

IPG has just splashed out $2bn on data business Axiom and Roth says: “With the completion of the Acxiom acquisition, we have a strengthened position to help clients succeed in a world where data-driven marketing solutions are increasingly core to brands’ success.”

IPG remains much smaller than WPP and Omnicom, now vying for the title of world’s biggest, but its relatively simplified structure seems to be paying off. Media planner and buyer UM has been the star performer so far this year, especially in the US, but the creative networks are putting in a solid performance too.

Maybe there isn’t a secret sauce, it’s simply a simple-to-understand offer to clients. It certainly seems to be working in the US where IPG seems to be taking substantial share from some of its rivals.

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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.

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