Amid all the disruption affecting the ad agency sector right now, Publicis Groupe was off to a good start in 2018, beating analysts’ expectations to post organic growth of 1.6% (versus the 0.3% expected) in its first quarter.
Recent account wins—including Campbell Soup, Marriott, Mercedes-Benz and Carrefour—helped the French advertising group move in the right direction, although growth in its home market of Europe was largely flat.
Of course, there were questions about the disruption at WPP, although Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun opted not to comment. (That certainly wouldn’t have been the case under Maurice.) Fortunately there was lots of chatter about the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation to liven up the call.
The message from Publicis was that it’s not just ready, but that its acquisition of Sapient—and the “three and a half thousand” data scientists, analysts and engineers that came with it—puts the agency group in good stead to advise its clients on the new regulation.