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Publicis Sees More Growth This Year as Clients Keep Spending on Digital Marketing

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Publicis Groupe, the world’s third-largest advertising agency, said on Thursday it expects organic growth between 3 percent and 5 percent this year. (Shutterstock)

Publicis Groupe, the world’s third-largest advertising agency, said on Thursday it expects organic growth between 3 percent and 5 percent this year, as it banks on continued investments from clients on their digital transformation.

Despite a challenging 2022 marked by inflation, Covid-19 in China and a slowdown in global advertising spending, Publicis last year twice raised its guidance as client spending on digital marketing boosted sales.

“We haven’t noticed a change in the behaviour of our customers due to inflation,” chief executive Arthur Sadoun told journalists in a call regarding Thursday’s results, echoing statements from October.

Its digital and data-driven businesses Epsilon and Sapient, the former of which was acquired in 2019, had organic growth of 12 percent and 19 percent, respectively, in 2022.

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“Now, we’re on the lookout for so-called bolt-on acquisitions,” Sadoun added.

Responding to a question on clients’ preferences for ad placement, Sadoun said there was a transfer away from traditional television and towards smart TVs, as well as towards retail media in general and first-party data.

“There is an underlying trend towards our clients who say: instead of going to invest on CNN, we’re going to go to Walmart.com because by definition it’s more efficient, it’s more direct, I’m building a direct relationship with my consumer.”

He added that clients’ willingness to continue advertising on Twitter varied on a case-by-case basis.

Publicis, which owns ad agencies Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, hopes to navigate a global shift in advertising trends as Alphabet Inc’s Google looks to phase out the use of third-party cookies.

The company recorded organic growth of +10.1 percent in 2022 with net revenue reaching €12.57 billion ($13.81 billion), against €10.49 billion in 2021.

By Olivier Sorgho; Editor: Matthew Lewis

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