Programmatic Spend At Omnicom Continues To Grow And Diversify

omniRevenue from Omnicom’s trading desk Accuen grew $33 million in Q4 and $86 million over the full year in 2016, the company said in its Q4 earnings call on Tuesday.

Q4 marked the highest incremental growth Accuen saw all year. In the two preceding years, Accuen’s contribution to Omnicom’s overall revenue fluctuated between $20 million and $45 million. Omnicom does not share Accuen’s total revenue, just revenue growth.

  • In Q3 2016, Accuen grew $10M
  • Q2 2016 – $18M
  • Q1 2016 – $25M
  • Q4 2015 – $45M
  • Q3 2015 – $25M
  • Q2 2015 – $30M
  • Q1 2015 – $40M
  • Q4 2014 – $20M
  • Q3 2014 – not available
  • Q2 2014 – $40M

The types of clients spending on programmatic also are diversifying.

“The programmatic business continues to evolve beyond the original group of advertisers focused primarily on achieving an ROI,” Chief Financial Officer Phil Angelastro told investors on the call.

But the way Omnicom buys programmatic is shifting in light of transparency concerns reported by the Association of National Advertisers in June, which may account for the slow in Accuen’s growth.

“We wouldn’t be surprised to see reduction in the share of programmatic executed on a bundled basis and growth in programmatic executed on a traditional basis,” Angelastro said.

Overall, Omnicom had a strong year in 2016. Revenues increased 1.9% globally to $15.4 billion in 2016. For the fourth quarter, global revenue increased 2.1% to $4.2 billion. Advertising and media contributed to more than half of Omnicom’s growth this year.

2016 was a big year for account wins.

PHD, BBDO and Hearts & Science snagged Volkswagen, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble, respectively. Omnicom launched full-service agency We Are Unlimited to service the McDonald’s account with a hybrid of its own execs and digital talent from the likes of Facebook and Google.

Omnicom attributed these wins to data and analytics powerhouse Annalect, which Omnicom CEO John Wren said is successful because it was built within the holding company.

“When a company starts trying to gather these skills through acquisitions, it doesn’t play very well,” he said.

Like it did for McDonald’s and P&G, Omnicom will continue to create solutions for major account wins that allow for better collaboration and information sharing across agency units.

“Our business has changed completely over the last five years and I expect that pace is going to continue,” Wren said. “Media scientists are briefing creative people as opposed to traditional account people. They’re working much more closely in fewer silos than ever before.”

As for issues in the digital media supply chain like fraud, viewabilty and nontransparency, Wren has heard client Marc Pritchard loud and clear.

“We have to be able to measure the effectiveness of media and we have to have a standardized ad certification strategy to track, measure and eventually value what clients are willing to pay for,” he said. “The amount of money being spent requires standards.”

But Wren puts the onus on media owners to create “the equivalent of a good housekeeping seal of approval so you have automatic faith what you’re buying is what you’re getting.”

As for overall growth in 2017, Wren is confident for Omnicom but cautious given the erratic tendencies of the current administration.

“In terms of what the US government is doing, I can’t figure it out,” he said. “Until a law gets passed, we’re just being conservative.”

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