Publicis reports strong Q1 on heels of major account wins

    • Publicis Groupe reported overall organic growth of 10.5% for Q1 2022, per its latest earnings report. The quarter’s organic growth, a key measure of category health, far outpaced the 2.8% figure notched in Q1 2021.
    • The agency holding company saw organic growth in all regions, with its business transformation practice, Publicis Sapient, seeing 18.5% growth globally. In the quarter, Publicis won several major pitches, including accounts for AB InBev, McDonald’s and Pepsi.
    • Publicis attributed its success to rising client demand for first-party data, digital media and commerce, and is confident it can meet objectives and the upper end of its organic growth target, despite the continued uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the effects of inflation.

    Publicis Groupe reported another strong quarter, a year after its organic revenue growth was just 2.8% as the agency holding company — and the entire economy — began to emerge from the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The company attributes its “very strong” start to the year to its ability to combine data, creative, media and technology for existing and new clients.

    “Once again, we are proving our abilities to capture the shift in client spend toward first-party data management, digital media and commerce,” chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun said on the earnings call.

    Sadoun called out the outsized growth of business transformation practice Publicis Sapient, which grew 18.5%, and organic growth in all regions, including the U.S. (8%), Europe (15%) and Asia (14%). In the quarter, Publicis also notched major account wins, securing global media for AB InBev, global creative for Siemens, North American media for McDonald’s and media in China for Pepsi, among others.

    Sadoun reiterated that Epsilon and Publicis Sapient are at the core of the Publicis model, responsible for a third of the group’s business and clear drivers of its overall growth. The full integration of these practices leaves Publicis well-suited for the cookieless future, which it has prepared for with partnerships around new identity solutions and the growing retail media space.

    Publicis expects to hit the upper end of its organic growth target in 2022, near 4% to 5%, despite continued uncertainty caused by the pandemic, inflation and the war in Ukraine. Publicis in March suspended business and investments in Russia and ceded ownership of its agencies in the country to local management, with its Russian business “deconsolidated” as of April 1, per the earning report. On the call, Sadoun described Publicis’ actions as a “people-first approach,” not a PR-oriented one.


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