Omnicom begins slow comeback from pandemic’s 2020

Omnicom is coming round after the pandemic but it’s a slow business with Q1 organic revenue still in reverse at -1.8%. Last year the owner of BBDO, TBWA, DDB and Omnicom Media Group (OMG) posted negative growth of -9.6%.

By region the US fell 1% in Q1, North America as a whole 3.2% and Europe the same. The UK, where one-time biggest agency AMV BBDO has had a torrid time, fell 6.4%. By discipline ad agencies fared best, up 1.2%.

Publicis Groupe was the first of the ad holding groups to report Q1 numbers, posting better than expected organic growth of 2.8%.

Omnicom has recently bought two healthcare businesses and CFO Phil Angelastro Left) is promising more activity but he says Omnicom “will keep its discipline” and “We’re not planning to get silly and try to explain it to you as strategic.” Meaning, presumably, big data buys like Publicis’ $4.4bn Epsilon and Interpublic’s $2.2bn Acxiom.

With the US ad market set to recover strongly (including TV advertising) Omnicom’s big agency networks should thrive. The UK remains a worry although adam&eveDDB remains the biggest agency by billings while Manning Gottlieb OMD handles the UK Government’s massive anti-covid campaign.

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About Stephen Foster

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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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