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  • Tue, Dec. 6, 1:51 PM
    • The Wall Street Journal reports the department is looking at unspecified advertising agencies over business that is alleged to have been improperly directed through a manipulated bidding process for commercials production, an estimated $5B business within the United States.
    • Lower on the development – Omnicom Group (OMC -2.8%), Interpublic Group (IPG -3.6%), WPP (WPPGY -0.7%), Publicis Groupe (OTCQX:PUBGY -0.8%)
    | Tue, Dec. 6, 1:51 PM
  • Mon, Oct. 31, 11:38 AM
    • A falling pound meant strength for ad giant WPP (NASDAQ:WPPGY), up 4.5% after revenues rose 23% in Q3 even as UK clients began to hold back spending in the wake of Britain's vote to exit the EU.
    • "Geographically, like-for-like revenue growth in the third quarter was slightly stronger in North America, but softer in the United Kingdom (perhaps reflecting the first impact of Brexit uncertainties) and continued at similarly strong levels in Western Continental Europe in comparison to the second quarter," it said.
    • Overall, like-for-like revenue growth was 3.2% and net sales growth was 2.8%.
    • The company will do a formal review of its forecasts in the next two weeks, but is guiding to full-year revenue (like-for-like) and net sales growth of more than 3%, with the gap between revenue and net sales growth shrinking further. It sees headline net sales operating margin improvement of 0.3 points in constant currency (with reportable margins even stronger).
    • Press Release
    | Mon, Oct. 31, 11:38 AM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Oct. 31, 7:14 AM
    | Mon, Oct. 31, 7:14 AM
  • Wed, Aug. 24, 8:17 PM
    • Ongoing accounting woes at comScore (SCOR +7.7%) have resulted in some pain at WPP (WPPGY +1.8%), but the ad giant isn't abandoning the measurement firm yet.
    • WPP gained 1.8% in U.S. trading after it logged revenue gains in its Q2 earnings -- but first-half profits fell 40% as it took heavy writedowns of £122M, including an £83.3M writedown of its stake in comScore.
    • But WPP isn't selling its stake, Miriam Gottfried notes -- it bought 480,000 more shares this month to bring its ownership near 20%.
    • Before the end of after-hours trading (in a likely error), a few thousand shares of WPP apparently changed hands at $18.50 -- 84% below closing price of $117.08.
    | Wed, Aug. 24, 8:17 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Aug. 24, 4:08 AM
    • Advertising giant WPP (OTCPK:WPPGF) said that Q2 revenue rose 13% to £3.46B, driven by western continental Europe and emerging markets.
    • Comparable net sales rose 4.3% and topped analyst expectations.
    • WPP expects full-year revenue growth of "well over" 3% vs a prior outlook of "over" 3%.
    • However, H1 net profit dropped 57% to £245.8M as the world's largest marketing company by revenue booked £122M of write-downs.
    • Shares are +5.35% in London. (PR)
    | Wed, Aug. 24, 4:08 AM
  • Fri, Aug. 12, 2:37 PM
    • After a "massive review" that wrapped up relatively quickly, AT&T (T -0.2%) has centralized its creative, digital and media accounts in ad giant Omnicom (OMC +1%).
    • That firm will have the bulk of business on creative, media, digital, data and analytics in the U.S. along with some work in Mexico, with its BBDO agency taking the creative lead. Meanwhile, Omnicom's recently launched Hearts & Science will serve as AT&T's media agency.
    • AT&T had pushed the review in a search for "efficiencies, quality and consistency across the portfolio."
    • A spokesman for WPP (WPPGY -0.3%) said: "We are very disappointed."
    | Fri, Aug. 12, 2:37 PM | 6 Comments
  • Mon, Jul. 25, 7:33 PM
    • In a Brazil threatened by an environment of business scandals, Telefonica Brasil (VIV -2.3%) is probing its own marketing division to see whether contracting practices led to excessive price discrepancies, Valor Econômico reports.
    • The company spends 1.3B reais (about $395M) annually on marketing and advertising and has already begun a restructuring of the unit's leadership, the paper says. Former chief Cristina Duclos has been dismissed and the company is looking for a new marketing executive.
    • The probe examined contracts with some of Brazil's biggest ad agencies, including DPZ&T, Young & Rubicam (NASDAQ:WPPGY) and Africa (NYSE:OMC), and ended up retaining them.
    | Mon, Jul. 25, 7:33 PM
  • Thu, Jun. 2, 1:47 PM
    • Ad agencies are getting rebates from media companies based on spending a certain amount on behalf of marketing clients, an eight-month trade-group investigation is showing.
    • That practice is widespread in the sample it looked at, the WSJ reports that the Association of National Advertisers found. The report is due for full release soon, and may cast doubts on ad industry transparency (and raise fears among marketers that agencies don't have their best interests at heart, a trust that has been fraying in recent years).
    • Accepting rebates is common elsewhere, in Europe and China, but historically not part of the ad business in America, and agencies have said publicly they don't accept rebates.
    • Leading ad agencies: WPPGY, OMC, OTCQX:PUBGY, IPG, OTCPK:HAVSF
    | Thu, Jun. 2, 1:47 PM
  • Mon, Apr. 25, 11:16 AM
    | Mon, Apr. 25, 11:16 AM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Mar. 11, 12:10 PM
    • Publicis Groupe (OTCQX:PUBGY +2.6%) is overhauling its media operations with large-scale changes as it tries to jump-start its business after some bruising account reviews.
    • The moves mean some more central media buying a la rival WPP (WPPGY +1.7%), though Publicis says individual agency brands are still important.
    • The company is eliminating its Vivaki digital ad-tech division, folding it into Publicis Media, where Tim Jones (currently CEO of ZenithOptimedia North America) will become regional CEO. Vivaki chief Stephan Beringer will head data and technology at Publicis Media.
    • Meanwhile, Mediavest will be merged with Spark (and Chris Boothe made CEO there), and Optimedia will be combined with Blue 449. The company's two biggest agencies will remain separate, as Starcom and Zenith, as the umbrella companies (ZenithOptimedia and Starcom Mediavest) are dismantled.
    • The company will have four agency CEOs in the U.S., reporting to Jones.
    • Publicis has recently lost media business from clients including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart.
    | Fri, Mar. 11, 12:10 PM
  • Tue, Mar. 8, 12:52 PM
    • Ad giant WPP (NASDAQ:WPPGY) is expected to keep delivering strong cash generation and EPS growth, JPMorgan says in a note reiterating the firm as its top media pick.
    • The firm expects WPP to build on a solid 2015 (and strong organic growth in Q4) with compound annual growth in EPS of about 10% from 2015-2017, excluding a probable bolt-on acquisition in 2017.
    • It's more cautious on 2016 net debt, but expects solid cash returns for shareholders, with an estimated dividend yield for 2016 and 2017 of 3.4% and 2% respectively.
    | Tue, Mar. 8, 12:52 PM
  • Fri, Mar. 4, 9:35 AM
    • WPP (NASDAQ:WPPGY) posted a set of fiscal 2015 results where it saw an influx of new business boost earnings beyond expectations even against currency headwinds in the second half of the year.
    • Billings of £47.6B were up 3.1% and revenues of £12.2B up 6.1%, with diluted EPS up 9.8% to 88.4 pence. EBITDA rose 4.9% to £2B.
    • Looking ahead, "the always on, Don Draperish general industry optimism seems misplaced," it notes. WPP sees little reason not to advise "continued caution" in a 2016 very similar to 2015, but with the Olympics, Euro Football Championships and a "high-profile, controversial" U.S. presidential election boosting marketing investments.
    • It's forecasting like-for-like revenue growth and net revenue growth each over 3%, and improved target operating margin to net sales by 0.3 points ex-currency.
    • American Depositary Shares are off 0.8% just out of the open.
    | Fri, Mar. 4, 9:35 AM
  • Fri, Mar. 4, 7:18 AM
    • WPP PLC (NASDAQ:WPPGY): FY15 EPS of £0.88.
    • Revenue of £12.24B (+6.2% Y/Y).
    | Fri, Mar. 4, 7:18 AM
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 9:41 AM
    • Ogilvy & Mather (NASDAQ:WPPGY) has settled a succession question by naming John Seifert its new worldwide CEO.
    • He takes the position effective immediately, replacing Miles Young, and will take over from Young as worldwide chairman on Sept. 1.
    • The company has been seeking replacement leadership since last June, when Young surprised observers by saying he'd leave to take a top post at Oxford University.
    • The move puts the seat of Ogilvy power back in New York, reinforcing the importance of American operations. Along with the change, Paul Heath and Paul O'Donnell were named worldwide executive directors.
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 9:41 AM
  • Dec. 7, 2015, 8:31 PM
    • Clorox is starting an ad account review that could see it consolidating lead and digital work in a single agency amid a shift in its media mix.
    • DDB (NYSE:OMC) is lead on its account, while AKQA (NASDAQ:WPPGY) is on digital and Baldwin& handles Burt's Bees.
    • The company has shifted more quickly into digital media than its peers, and it's DDB and Baldwin& that are defending their work in the review.
    • Clorox's look should be complete by the spring, and could mean consolidation with one partner. "It just depends on which agency comes forward with the best ideas an approach," said spokesman David Kellis.
    | Dec. 7, 2015, 8:31 PM
  • Nov. 10, 2015, 5:42 PM
    • Advertising giant WPP (NASDAQ:WPPGY) confirmed it sold €600M in bonds, increased from previous plans due to "strong demand," in order to refinance bonds maturing in the coming year.
    • The company said it was taking advantage of market conditions, with borrowing costs dipping somewhat from a 16-month high. The four-year bonds priced to yield 0.772% and will pay off debt due in May, of which WPP has €498M in 6.625% bonds.
    • The refinancing follows on a set of acquisitions; WPP has been adding businesses arond the world and this month agreed to buy a majority of Essence Digital.
    • ADRs for WPP are up 7.8% YTD.
    | Nov. 10, 2015, 5:42 PM