“A lot of ink is being spent on making a point about the issues of transparency and rebates,” he said. “If I were a client, I would be asking the same questions.”
IPG has been vocal in recent earnings calls about its agnostic approach to media buying. That’s a distinction for IPG, said Roth, and something its clients value. But Roth was quick to add that IPG’s strategy could change.
“You will not see inflated organic gross numbers from us as a result of taking inventory or ownership in terms of selling media to our clients,” he said.
But, he added, “There’s no question that some of our competitors are having success going a different way. That’s something we’re going to consider and we always will consider as we move into 2016.”
According to Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser, who downgraded many holding company stocks earlier this year, IPG’s size could help it weather the storm of media reviews. The holding company could be “less exposed to the issue to begin with,” Wieser wrote in a research note.
“However, the noise we expect from the industry will be negative sector-wide and may contribute to more aggressive negotiations between marketers and agencies more generally.”
IPG’s revenue in Q2 2015 increased 1.3% to $1.88 billion, up from $1.85 billion a year ago. Organic growth was 6.7%, made up by 7.7% organic growth in the US and 5.2% organic growth internationally. IPG saw strong growth in the US, UK and Asia Pacific markets. Meanwhile, Brazil and China require monitoring.
But on the strength of its quarter, the holding company increased its full-year revenue growth projection to 4-5%, up from its previous goal of 3-4%. IPG also has an acquisition pipeline, and expects to close a number of deals in the second half of the year.