Lots of people no longer believe it is possible to keep staff costs down to no more than half an agency’s gross income. Undoubtedly it is a difficult challenge – one that is increasingly dismissed as unrealistic by those who note how a number of US agency groups seem content to spend at least 60% of income on their staff.
Posts Tagged: WPP
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.
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.
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?
Dentsu’s planned takeover of Aegis Group is what in Yes Minister parlance might be described as a “brave decision”.
Dentsu’s track record has been one of solid success in providing traditional marketing services in its home territory of Japan– leaving aside the Tsunami and the economic recession – but of less success when it has embarked on sizeable acquisitions outside that comfort zone.
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.
Sir Martin Sorrell has been very successful, if building WPP into the biggest marketing group in the world is anything to go by. But there are few things he hasn’t done and that’s probably why he found himself in hot water this week when trying to justify a 37% rise in the total reward package he received in 2011.
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 little Englanders may not like to admit it, but the evidence suggests that Publicis Groupe is growing faster than any of the other “Big Five” global groups. It would have been less irritating if the company’s 12.9% growth in revenue claimed for the first quarter of 2012 had been a one-off, but that is not so.
Ever since Chime Communications’ chairman Lord Bell disclosed that he and deputy chairman Piers Pottinger were seeking to buy out a slice of the group’s PR business, a cloud of uncertainty has hung over the group.