Addressing why Publicis appears to be out-performing the results of the other major agency holding companies during the global economic recession, Levy said, "Obviously we have invested a lot in transforming Publicis into an all-digital agency and this is starting to pay. We have very good numbers for growth in digital. And this is something which is offsetting the decrease of some other activities."
The statement follows Publicis' recent closing on its acquisition of Razorfish from Microsoft, as well as organic growth in digital advertising services from units such as Digitas, VivaKi, Denuo, Starcom MediaVest Group, and ZenithOptimedia Group, and while he said the organization does not plan another big digital advertising services acquisition, Levy left that door open if the right opportunity comes along: "We have no plans to make further large acquisitions. We have plenty of plans to make small acquisitions in two areas. One is everything which has to do with emerging markets. In emerging markets we are interested by agencies, advertising agencies, PR agencies, marketing services, digital - obviously - or media. And we are still interested across the board by digital operations. These acquisitions are very hard to find ; there are not many, and they are not very costly. We have liquidity of about €3.5 billion and this gives us ample room to make the acquisitions we expect to do, but normally we should be at a very low level of spending and I don't anticipate some major acquisition any time soon."
For the third-quarter of 2009, Publicis said its organic revenues declined 7.4%, which is slightly better than the 8.6% decline it reported for the second-quarter, and Levy said the ad industry downturn appeared to have bottomed out in the summer, and he called June "the most terrible months we have ever seen."