Ad giant WPP reported its quarter. Not surpisingly, the U.S. ad market is sluggish. What did surprise? The bottom seems to have fallen out of Western Europe in March, particularly Germany, France and Spain.
Organic revenue in the quarter was up 5% globally, in what WPP called a “steady” global economic environment. North America grew 5% organically (excluding acquisitions and currency fluctuations), despite the “much heralded slowdown in the United States.”
Western Europe was a surprise laggard, growing just 3% organically in the quarter, contrasting with Eastern Europe, which grew nearly 26%.
Overall revenue, including the 37 acquisitions made in the past year, including Schematic in the U.S. and Quasar Media in India, was up 14.1% to $3.1 billion. The group owns GroupM, which includes MindShare, Mediaedge:cia, MediaCom and Maxus, as well as ad agencies JWT and Y&R.
Last week, Omnicom reported a 12.5% increase in global revenue to $3.2 billion, driven by strength overseas but tempered by weakness in the U.S. International revenue grew 18%, compared to 7.6% in the U.S.
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