Omnicom slows organic decline but still lags rivals

Omnicom continues to bring up the rear among ad holding companies as they battle with the effects of Covid-19, seeing Q3 2020 organic drop 11.7%, half the drop in Q2 (24.7%) but still well behind rivals Publicis Groupe and Interpublic. WPP has yet to report.

Organic revenue fell 11.4% in the U.S., 12.5% in the UK and 9.6% in European markets. Worldwide revenue in the third quarter decreased 11.5% to $3.21 billion from $3.62 billion in 2019.

The company is notably cautious, even pessimistic on prospects with CEO John Wren (above) admitting “I don’t have any clues to how Christmas will work out” and CFO Philip Angelastro adding: “There is always some uncertainty regarding project work and year-end spend. That’s certainly the case this year. We’re probably not as optimistic that will come through as we were at this time last year.”

Quite why Omnicom should be suffering more than its peers is unclear. In the good times its big creative agencies BBDO, DDB and TBWA hoovered up a notable proportion of the world’s high spending advertisers but big budget mainstream ad campaigns have been thin on the ground during Covid.

Omnicom has also failed to land much substantial new businss, perhaps losing out to the business transformation merchants Publicis and WPP and aggressive digital-based newbies like Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital and Accenture.


  1. If you look at NET revenues Omnicom was down 8% in Q3 and 8% ytd, not much different to some of the others, including WPP this morning. For some strange reason Omnicom doesn’t want to point to net revenues which excludes pass through costs.

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