Agencies delivered solid growth in 2022—why 2023 is more of a challenge

Organic growth in 2022 eased for the five biggest legacy agency holding companies—WPP, Publicis Groupe, Omnicom Group, Interpublic Group of Cos. and Dentsu Group—following a surge in 2021.

Organic growth for the five firms averaged 7.5% worldwide and 7.6% in the U.S. in 2022.

The average of 2023 worldwide organic growth forecasts for the five companies comes in at 3% to 4.6%, with comparatively little variance among the companies.

Publicis and Omnicom last week announced first-quarter results. Publicis disclosed first-quarter worldwide organic growth of 7.1%, with growth in all regions (including 5.8% U.S. organic growth).

Omnicom reported worldwide organic growth of 5.2% for the first three months of 2023, with growth in all regions (including 5.1% U.S. organic growth). Omnicom posted single-digit organic growth in all disciplines in the first quarter.

On their earnings calls last week, Publicis and Omnicom confirmed the 2023 worldwide organic growth guidance range—3% to 5%—that both companies had forecast in February.

WPP and Interpublic report on April 27.