Mark Read
Mark Read

WPP reported a 5.5 percent decline in Q1 PR revenues to $292M as its BCW and Hill & Knowlton units suffered the loss of Pfizer assignments and cutbacks in client spending due to the economic uncertainty.

The unit, which includes FGS Global, showed a 3.3 percent dip on a like-for-like basis. FGS Global posted growth during the quarter.

WPP CEO Mark Read said the plan to merge BCW and H&K to form Burson is making progress and the new entity will be fully operational in July.

BCW CEO Corey duBrowa and H&K’s AnnaMaria DeSalva are working to eliminate redundancies to forge an enterprise that can deliver modern communications at scale to clients.

WPP’s Q1 revenues (less pass-through costs) fell 5 percent to $2.9B, and 1.6 percent on a LFL basis. The firm showed strong growth in Europe and India but slipped in North America and China.

Read is confident that WPP will enjoy growth for the balance of 2024 powered by a strong new business pipeline, new AI capabilities and "a simpler structure that will drive organizational flexibility and stronger cash conversion.”