In First Post-Pandemic Comp, Publicis Continues To Lag

In its first quarter to reflect the year-over-year impact of the COVID-19 pandemic -- albeit partially -- Publicis Groupe reported a moderate decline in net revenues, but actually posted organic growth.

For the first quarter of 2021, Publicis’ net revenues declined 3.6% from the first quarter of 2020, which included March, the first month to substantially feel the impact of ad-spending cutbacks due to the pandemic.

The impact was most modest in Asia-Pacific -- especially China, which was the first region to be impacted by the pandemic, while the Middle East/Africa and Latin America regions showed the steepest declines.

North America, by far Publicis’ biggest market, declined 3.2%.

“China, which was the first country impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, posted an organic growth of +3.0% thanks to a better sanitary context and strong series of wins,” Publicis noted in its earnings statement, adding, “India and Australia both recorded dynamic organic growth in the first quarter.”

Overall, Publicis reported organic growth of 2.8% on a worldwide basis.

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