Publicis To Upgrade Ad Outlook, Cites 'Stable Economic Growth'

Citing “fairly stable economic growth,” Publicis Media CEO Steve King disclosed the agency holding company is poised to upgrade its outlook for the advertising economy.

“Next week we will be increasing our forecast,” King said during the Q&A portion of Publicis’ Investors Day presentation in Paris Tuesday.

Noting how ad spending historically expands during periods of macroeconomic expansion, King said, “we’re actually predicting fairly stable economic growth and advertising expenditures broadly following that.”

King did not disclose or hint at the margin of Publicis’ outlook upgrade, but he shot down a question from an analyst about whether consumers shifting to subscription media services might be a negative for ad spending.



“What you’re suggesting is we’re seeing a shift out of linear TV, but that’s not a new trend,” King challenged, adding: “But against that, we should remember that people are actually consuming far more media.”

King went on to make the case that agencies would benefit because of the shift from linear to TV “addressable” and “programmatic” TV, which he said would “actually grow our business by creating far more personalized communication at scale, at speed.”

He said the shift would also be “more efficient and better for our clients,” and described it as “quite a nice opportunity.”

That point of view was markedly different from one delivered by Publicis Groupe Chief Growth Officer Rishad Tobaccowala during a keynote at CIMM last month, in which he predicted the supply of consumer advertising opportunities could decline as much as 30% over the next five years due to consumers shifting to non-ad-supported media, such as subscription video services.

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