Publicis' Levy Dubs 2012 'Disappointing,' Warns 2013 Will Be 'Even More Difficult'
by Joe Mandese, Feb 14, 2013, 7:38 AM
Reporting on what proved to be a “difficult, uncertain and disappointing” 2012, Publicis chief Maurice Levy this morning cautioned shareholders that 2013 “looks like it will be even more difficult." As part of his full-year 2012 earnings report, Levy cited continuing “economic uncertainty” and “the weakness of Europe, where whole sectors of industry both lack competitiveness and face consumers' concerns” as the main reasons for his dour outlook for the year ahead.
“Notwithstanding all this doom and gloom, there is good news from the USA,” he added, “where growth is up -- even if the trend is still fragile -- and from the high-growth countries where forecasts are more optimistic.”
The holding company, the parent of agencies such as Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia Group, and DigitasLBi, reported total revenue growth of 13.7% for 2012, the “organic” revenues expanded only 2.9%, which lagged or just met Publicis’ own estimates for the industry’s growth in 2012.
“The global advertising market had been expected to grow by 4.7%, but actual growth will fall below the 3% mark with advertising income from Euro 2012 and the London Olympics well below expectations,” Levy noted.
Among the bright spots he cited for 2012 were its acquisition of Amsterdam-based digital agency network LBi and its integration with Digitas.