Is it the calm before the storm as the ad holding companies post their Q2 results? Omnicom and Publicis have posted double digit Q2 growth, now Interpublic (IPG) has reported 7.9%, down on the others obviously but against tougher comparatives (IPG performed better than its rivals in early 2021.)
At the same time IPG has shuffled its leadership pack with Daryl Lee (above), former head of IPG Mediabrands, taking over from Bill Kolb as global CEO of McCann Worldgroup. Kolb remains chairman. Eileen Kiernan becomes global CEO of Mediabrands.
McCann Worldgroup is still probably the biggest creative network in the world and Lee’s elevation is another sign of media mavens moving into roles encompassing creative too. It must instal him as the eventual favourite to take over from IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky.
Q2 growth of 7.9% is around the level the other ad holding companies are predicting for the full year (6-7% so far) and a sign of the slowdown that’s hitting, following the spectacular recovery from Covid. Rampant inflation, supply chain problems, Covid in China and the war in Ukraine with its effect on energy prices have all conspired to make the economic outlook much darker.
Krakowsky says of new Worldgroup boss Lee: “Daryl is an exceptional thinker, business-builder and leader, who is as passionate about helping our clients achieve success in the marketplace as he is about building organizations where our people can thrive. During his time leading both Mediabrands and UM, he has proven that he can build capabilities and inspire agency cultures that are fully focused on our clients, deliver growth and innovation, as well as invite diverse perspectives into the conversation.”
Of IPG’s Q2 performance he says: “Our comparatives are very challenging, and I’ll take that. A lot of that is just the math, and I’d reiterate that the momentum in the business is healthy and the demand for what we do is healthy.”