French Advertising Group Publicis Groupe has released its full 2009 results and the reports are mixed. Organic growth for the company was -6.5% but in a sign of a changing environment, digital services were up 7.1%. They now account for 22.4% of total revenue. The Group also pointed out that the fourth quarter saw an improvement and sees this as the first signs of a recovery. The company expects to return to positive organic growth in 2010. Publicis CEO Maurice Levy said:
“The year was something of a paradox for the Publicis Groupe. While our marketplace experienced a double-digit downturn, we were able to stop the slide and cut it by half, thus actually gaining market share. “
He also drew attention to the changing dynamics in the market and said it’s not just the economy that has put pressure on results:
“The upheaval in our industry was generated not only by macroeconomic factors; it was also the product of changing dynamics in the communications business. This included the rapid development of digital technologies, the explosion of social networks and other forms of communication, accentuating the shift in the media landscape and accelerating the pace of changes in consumer behavior.”
He went on to say he feels Publicis Groupe has “weathered the crisis well”. In the future, and with the acquisition of Razorfish, Publicis plans to generate 60% of its revenue from digital activities and emerging economies.