Publicis Australia “Broadly Stable” After Bumper New Business Wins In 2023

Publicis Australia “Broadly Stable” After Bumper New Business Wins In 2023

Publicis Australia has reported “broadly stable” growth in its Q1 2024 results as its Zenith and Starcom agencies placed first and second in COMvergence’s new business rankings.

Despite the strong new business wins, the overall growth for Publicis Groupe was stymied by “delays in Digital Business Transformation projects” and “client cautiousness” in the IT consultancy sector that hit the tech-focused Publicis Sapient business arm hard in Q4 last year. Fortunately, Sapient is now returning to growth.

At the regional Asia Pacific level, Publicis recorded a 6.4 per cent growth on a reported basis and 6.2 per cent growth on an organic basis led mainly by strong performances in China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Arthur Sadoun, Publicis’ global chairman and CEO, put the holding company’s strong 5.3 per cent organic growth around the world down to three AI, “new business tailwinds” and a “rebound” in the tech sector.

“First, our ability to capture a disproportionate part of the increasing demand for data-led marketing transformation, boosted by AI, in a soon-to-be-cookieless world. This translated into the double-digit growth of our combined Epsilon and Publicis Media offer,” he said.

“Second, continued new business tailwinds, coming after we topped the league tables once again, and as we have for the past five years. Last but not least, the impact of a clear rebound in the tech sector, where we saw double-digit growth this quarter.

“Looking at the rest of our business, Publicis Sapient recorded sequential improvement, with positive growth in the U.S. despite continued client cautiousness affecting the entire IT consultancy sector. Creative further showed its resilience, posting single-digit growth driven by new business and production. All of our regions performed well, with the notable acceleration of Asia fueled by strong growth in China.”

Mike Rebelo and the rest of the Publicis leadership team will take heart in the new business wins last year that saw Zenith net new business billings value of $166 million. The agency won 15 new clients, including picking up the largest account up for grabs this year, the Aussie portion of the global Adobe review, which has media billings of $55 million. The agency also won Superloop ($17 million), RAC Queensland ($9 million) and Italian dairy goods group Lactalis ($6.5 million), the parent company of Galbani, Lactel, Parmalat and President. Zenith also retained Disney Studios ($41 million).

Publicis stablemate Starcom also had a strong year, securing $51 million in new business and $80 million worth of retained business, including Metcash, Subaru and Bega.

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