As each week passes, we hear more gloomy outpourings about trading prospects from the major groups in the industry. Huntsworth and Dentsu joined the gloomy chorus last week, countering Maurice Lévy’s attempt to cheer us up with news of better trading in October. Even those companies that are currently on target for the year feel the need to counsel caution about their future prospects – witness Chime Communications and Levy’s warning about December.
Posts Tagged: Publicis
Publicis Groupe’s ability to continue building revenues at a seemingly faster rate than its global competitors – reflected in its third quarter results announced today – may well have been helped by favourable currency movements – not least the decline in the euro – and aggressive investment in digital acquisitions, but the fact remains that the growth is real enough.
It’s hard to believe that many of the financial results reported in the last week or so have been very positive. What happened to recession and the financial crisis that we are all supposed to be experiencing?
Few would challenge the Publicis policy of investing in digital assets in the manner pursued so energetically by chief executive Maurice Lévy. It has proved to be a good strategy so far. And, as a target, LBi has made great progress from its darker days to become a well respected business.
A week ago, a rash of big acquisitions prompted the notion that the acquirers were buying at recession riven prices in the expectation that an economic upturn was about to occur.
For no obvious reason Britain’s recessions come in roughly 10 year cycles at the start of each decade. And the latest was no exception. So what is it that has prompted companies like Dentsu, WPP and Publicis to go an acquisition spree when business is at its most depressed?
With AKQA’s shareholders extracting a juicy $540 million from WPP, it’s hardly surprising that other would-be acquirers are swarming round the only other obvious large candidate likely to be for sale – LBi International – like bees round a honeypot.
The future of stand alone digital marketing agencies looks increasingly limited as we learn today that Saatchi & Saatchi France is to absorb the Duke digital agency.
A few months ago Engine Group’s digital agency Altogether Digital merged with WCRS and, in a sort of role reversal, Dare merged with sister creative agency MCBD. Of course the leader in this trend was AKQA, a digital agency that in 2001 seemed to have adopted a rather novel and unexpected strategy by merging with US creative agency Citron Haligman Bedecarré to become a seamless whole.
We may be looking forward to spring, but in economic terms we are still in the depths of winter. Weak companies, made more vulnerable by the cold winds of recession, have been eager to find warmer homes.
Publicis is first out of the blocks with its results for 2011 and the figures look worth boasting about, although it would be premature to do so until the other global groups have declared their results too.