Interpublic (IPG) delivered a decent set up 2022 results with 7% organic growth, behind Omnicom on 9% and Publicis 10%. Unusually CEO Philippe Krakowsky chose to highlight the performance of his two big digital agencies – R/GA and Huge – as a drag on growth.
He said that both agencies, which have been down-sizing with R/GA closing its San Francisco office, had suffered as their project-based businesses were hit by client caution.
“Tying them more into open architecture or whether it’s the overall data stack that we’ve built is clearly something we need to focus on,” he said. “It may be that long-term success and a measure of independence will need to be addressed.”
Bob Greenberg’s R/GA had been the poster boy of holding company digital agencies as Google and Facebook seemed to be taking over the media world. They’re still the biggest media players but R/GA and Huge’s fortunes may be a sign that the tide is finally ebbing.
IPG’s overall performance was solid as ever with the US growing 2.4% (the US ad market was less afflicted than others by covid) and international markets 6.3%. In the UK media agencies UM and Initiative performed well, alongside MullenLowe.
IPG is forecasting 2023 growth of 2-3%, slightly lower than Omnicom and Publicis’ 3-5%.