Omnicom has closed 2023 on a pretty respectable note with organic growth of 4.4% in Q4, 4.3% for the year, on annual revenue of $14.7bn.
For the full year Omnicom grew 2.6% in the US, its biggest market, 7.2% in Europe, 6% in APAC and 4.7% in the UK, no mean performance in a flagging UK economy. Omnicom agencies include BBDO, DDB (including adam&eveDDB), TBWA (currently its star performer) and the various media agencies grouped in Omnicom Media Group (OMG.)
In 2024 the company is targeting 3-5% growth, which seems rather modest although CEO John Wren blamed account losses including Pfizer, which went to Publicis. WPP CEO Mark Read also mentioned losing business from the pharma giant in his recent Capital Markets Day. Since then Omnicom has won a number of accounts, especially in media.
Omnicom’s numbers lag Pubicis, which recorded 6.3% growth for 2023 but are still way ahead of WPP which is expected to show less than one per cent growth in 2023 and about the same this year, thereby increasing the pressure on CEO Read.
As usual with holding company bosses Wren is emphasising the importance of creative even as it struggles for client budgets: “Creative is our IP, at the end of the day. Technology has probably had a greater impact on the traditional setup of an agency in terms of how we can utilize great ideas and through algorithms and through automation, deliver those ideas to the right venues to present them to reach customers.
“But I think one of the things that has always differentiated us is, actually, the quality of our creative products, and the quality of our agencies and people that we’re able to attract.”