Growth From Omnicom’s Programmatic Arm Accounted For $30M In 2015’s Second Quarter

omniiAdvertiser agency reviews took center stage during Omnicom’s Q2 call.

Chief John Wren claimed the holding company is well positioned to weather the storm of media reviews, which have spurred the reevaluation of nearly $30 billion in media billings, according to estimates from Pivotal Research, because of Omnicom’s investments in its data-management platform, Annalect, and its programmatic arm, Accuen.

“The media landscape has become more complex and many of the reviews are strategic re-evaluations of agency suppliers,” Wren said. “Technology has radically changed media planning and buying. The rise of digital data and analytics has given marketers the ability to more precisely understand how consumers are using media.”

He added that programmatic buying and microtargeting are areas clients are particularly scrutinizing.

Additionally, the increase in media channels like online video across numerous consumer devices means advertisers want to make sure they have the right strategy in place, Wren said.

Investors wondered if clients will move to different holding companies, or if smaller, third-party programmatic firms will win more accounts.

Wren said he expects the former: “I don’t see money being diverted to small ad tech players at this point, and certainly not in the reviews that are going on.”

Wren estimated that the industry is about halfway through the reviews, and that the media shake-ups will largely be decided by October.

“It will be very interesting to see who the net winners are in this round,” Wren said. “I’m very confident with the amount of revenue we’ve already won. And with the few losses that we’ve suffered, we’re well ahead of the game. Looking out, there should only be opportunities for us.”

Consequently, Omnicom is optimistic about Accuen’s growth potential. Omnicom CFO Philip Angelastro said growth from Accuen during the quarter accounted for about $30 million, though he didn’t split out total spend running through the platform – or total revenue.

In a research note, Pivotal Research senior analyst Brian Wieser noted about 1% of Omnicom’s organic growth “was due to incremental activity associated with programmatic trading.” He noted uncertainty around how much revenue came from the trading of traditional media.

Wieser questioned Accuen’s margins, saying Omnicom had implied the trading desk’s margins were below the media agency average, “although we believe media agency margins are substantially above those of the holding company as a whole.”

“We expect that over time, as we get more scale, the margins in the programmatic space are going to approximate our media margins overall,” Angelastro responded.

Over the last 15 to 18 months, Accuen has expanded to “most of the significant markets outside the US,” Angelastro added. “We see opportunity for Accuen to grow both in the US and outside the US. But there’s a decent amount of growth that’s coming from the rest of the world.”

Angelastro estimated that roughly 50% of Accuen’s growth is generated from the US and 50% from other markets.

“We see a big opportunity for using that platform to drive growth and drive insights through the rest of our businesses not just through the media business and programmatic space,” Angelastro added, highlighting particular opportunities for Omnicom’s CRM business, which dates back to September, when Omnicom inked a deal with Salesforce on a CRM alliance.

Overall, Omnicom’s Q2 revenue declined 1.7% year over year (YoY) to $3.8 billion. The holding company posted positive organic growth of 5.3% YoY, which was on par with investor’s expectations.

Organic revenue attributable to advertising in Q2 2015 increased 6.4% YoY, while CRM increased 4.3% YoY, public relations increased slightly, at 0.3% YoY, and specialty communications increased 8% YoY.

Enjoying this content?

Sign up to be an AdExchanger Member today and get unlimited access to articles like this, plus proprietary data and research, conference discounts, on-demand access to event content, and more!

Join Today!