Michael Roth

Interpublic CEO Michael Roth has yanked a full-year financial projection of three percent organic growth for 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In light of significant macroeconomic uncertainty resulting from the severity of the COVID-19 crisis, and the unknown magnitude and duration of its impact, it is appropriate to withdraw the company’s previously issued financial performance targets for full-year 2020," IPG said in an 8-K statement released to the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 26.

Noting that COVID-19 has resulted in human tragedy and macroeconomic cost throughout the world, Roth said IPG remains focused on protecting the health and safety of its employees around the world, serving its clients, and supporting its communities.

He said the current environment makes visibility into marketing and media spend extremely challenging but added that IPG has a long track record of navigating successfully through uncertain economic periods.

Roth hinted that layoffs/consolidations may be in the cards. "We have multiple cost levers to align expenses with changes in revenue and our operators are executing as appropriate on both the revenue and expense sides," he said.