Interpublic shows growth in 3Q

Interpublic Group of Companies, parent company to agencies including Draftfcb, Lowe and Deutsch, reported revenue growth of 11.5% and organic revenue growth of 7.6% for the third quarter 2008.

Now in its third year of a turnaround plan, the company has reversed the losses of previous years. After posting a net loss of $10.8 million in 2007, year-to-date 2008 net income is $78 million. Increased revenues were linked to growth in the technology, telecommunications and retail sectors.

“Our growth was led by media, digital and activation, as well as advertising,” Frank Mergenthaler, CFO and EVP of Interpublic, said in the company’s Q3 conference call. “We had a growth across our full range of advertising and marketing disciplines, led by media brands McCann WorldGroup’s MRN Momentum units, [and] our Hill Holliday and Deutsche agencies.”

The company remains optimistic about demand for its digital, marketing and integrated services, and also is looking to grow its emerging media capabilities. Interpublic also will continue to invest in tools for better campaign measurement.

“Clearly, clients are looking to spend more in digital than in traditional media,” said Michael Roth, chairman, president and CEO of Interpublic, during the call. “The good part of digital is that it is measurable. If clients are looking to be conservative in terms of where they spend their dollars, they are more likely to spend it in an arena — for example, in behavior-based marketing — where it’s measurable.” 

The economy, Roth and Mergenthaler admitted, will have some effect on future plans. Roth noted that, “in some cases we’ll have to reduce the amount of headcount,” as clients cut their marketing spends.

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