Despite some initial concerns that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami would affect production in the auto category, Publicis chief Maurice Levy said last week his understanding is that the U.S. market should hold up well.
Levy told investors "we were very worried about what could happen," as a production slowdown might hurt marketing spending. But his understanding is that Japanese companies, such as Toyota, are focusing on maintaining the flow of exports at the possible expense of the Japanese market.
Publicis had a recent meeting with large client Toyota, and Levy said his team came away with the knowledge that "there were no big issues and they are managing quite well the consequences" of the disasters.
Levy said that as of now, Publicis has few major concerns. There have been reports that that the disasters have impacted production of components used in assembling the vehicles.
Speaking to investors, he added that the U.S. market in general is "recovering well," including the return of consumer confidence. He said Publicis' media, digital and health care operations are doing fine in the market.