PUBLICIS REVENUES RISE
Publicis organic growth slipped in the third quarter to2% as budget cuts triggered by sluggish economies inEurope stalled strong summer revenues.
North America, Publicis’ largest market, ticked up3.2% over Q3 2011 to 805M euro ($1B), below expectations, while overall the Paris—based advertising, PR and marketing conglomerate saw revenue of 1.6B ($2.1B) euro.
Organic growth of 2% was below earlier expectations.
Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy called it a “summer of contrasts” where July and August trended upward until a sudden downturn in September – “as sharp as it was unexpected” – centered on Europe.
“September bore the full brunt of budget cuts triggered by the marked downturn in economies: instead of the 6.6% growth forecast for September, the month ended with negative growth of -1.6%, mainly as a result of Europe.
Levy said North America remains “resilient” and believes the factors that hurt revenue in Q3 – loss of GM’s media and search account, as well as cuts to healthcare and retail budgets – are “more non-recurrent than structural.”
The first slide of Levy’s investor presentation for theQ3 results included a collage of headlines about economic troubles in Europe, the U.S. and China.
Big wins for MSLGroup included Wal-Mart (HongKong) and Taitra (Taiwan).
BRIEFS FROM THE CRITICAL ISSUES FORUM
“We have binders and binders and binders,” jokedPeter Land, senior VP-corporate communications at PepsiCo, in his best imitation of Mitt Romney during theCouncil of PR Firms’ Critical Issues Forum.
Land’s shot at levity came during his response to a question about diversity at the Purchase, N.Y.-based beverage-based food conglomerate. He said Pepsi was among the first companies to field a black sales force.
...Kelly Vanasse, VP-communications at Procter & Gamble’s global business units, looks for “scrappiness” in communicators, adding that “some PR people are scrappier than others.”
She talked of the consumer products powerhouse’s sponsorship of the London Olympics (32 brands plus P&Gcorporate), which she said resulted in an 89 percent rise inP&G’s brand favorability numbers and incremental sales of $500M.
In her former post as beauty products/ gooming PRchief, Vanasse was obsessed with “getting guys to shave more,” preferably with a razor from P&G’s Gillette unit. Adab or two of Old Spice would have made Vanasse even happier.
...Bridget Coffing, senior VP-corporate relations atMcDonald’s, said management doesn’t view the Chicago suburb Oak Brook as headquarters of the fast feeder. That honor goes to the 34,500 restaurants.
A consumer enters the McDonald’s brand when he walks into a local McDonald’s, according to Coffing. The27-year Big Mac veteran stressed the importance of communicators to keep calendars of upcoming events in this