Alarm Bells At Publicis As Shares Drop Due To “Softer Than Expected” Performance Of Its Media Agencies

Alarm Bells At Publicis As Shares Drop Due To “Softer Than Expected” Performance Of Its Media Agencies
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Publicis Groupe has experienced a share price drop over the weekend of 12 per cent, after reporting lower than expected third quarter results and a warning of an organic revenue decline.

Publicis reported a 2.7 per cent decrease last quarter and also said it would likely be down 2.5 per cent for the year, blaming “softer than expected” performances of its media agencies.

Furthermore, the change by Publicis Sapient to working on business transformations rather than digital services has had a negative impact on the group, especially in the US.

Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun (feature image) said: “We have taken the tough but necessary decisions needed to tackle the industry challenges we are facing head-on.”

Sadoun said Publicis was at “the hardest part yet of [its] journey” and that things “always get worse before they get better”.

“We could have chosen the easy route and taken advantage of the status quo to find small pockets of immediate growth. Instead we are accepting this painful situation in the short-term, to be better prepared for the future,” he said.

Publicis appears to be doing better across APAC and the Middle East/Africa regions, with organic growth increasing to 2.5 per cent and nine per cent respectively.

Yet it’s not just Publicis feeling the heat.

Share prices at WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic were also down over the weekend at 4.4 per cent, 2.9 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.

The less-than-ideal results follow Publicis’ acquisition of data giant Epsilon for an eye-watering near $4 billion ($AU6b) back in July this year.

The acquisition was the largest deal in the holding group’s  93-year history and gives Publicis access to Epsilon’s data capabilities.

Publicis Groupe has struggled financially in recent years, missing revenue targets for the fourth quarter of 2018.

As a result, it suffered its largest single-day stock price decline since Septemner 11, 2001.

Publicis Groupe’s management and boards unanimously approved the Epsilon deal, describing it as “a one-time opportunity to seize, given the evolution of the industry and the implying transformation of marketing solutions.”

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