Takeover activity (see Mitchell story below) is not the only indication the ad economy is on the mend. Publicis Groupe has just delivered what can only be described as a cracking set of second quarter figures.
Among the highlights was organic revenue growth of 7.1%, a further improvement from the 3.1% posted in Q1. Organic growth is regarded as one of the purest metrics of growth or decline, because it strips out such things as currency fluctuations and acquisitions.
More importantly, perhaps, a bullish performance emboldened Publicis Groupe chief Maurice Lévy to stick his neck out with this bold assertion of global recovery:
“Even if we don’t know for sure that the crisis is over and despite some worries about sovereign debt and public spending, there is a strong feeling that we have reached the end of the crisis.”
Let’s hope Lévy is right. IPG’s own set of quarterly figures, out today – which reveal similarly strong organic growth (admittedly from a lower base) – give grounds for optimism. But Lévy’s bullishness has left at least one of his rivals frankly incredulous. Don’t expect the same enthusiasm to suffuse WPP’s half-year figures when they come out on August 27th. LUV, I gather, is in the air, but it will be tough LUV.