The Telegraph
Monday , April 28 , 2014
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Interpublic upbeat on India

Roth: Growth focus

Mumbai, April 27: Interpublic Group (IPG) — the global advertising giant — is looking to increase its focus on India.

“In India, a lot is dependent upon the outcome of the ongoing elections. We still believe India will be a strong growth opportunity for us. I might add, we did bring our board of directors to India at our last board meeting, which is a positive statement to our support of our agencies in India,” IPG chairman and CEO Michael Roth told analysts at a conference call earlier this week.

Roth admitted that business in India had been uncharacteristically slow in the first quarter ended March — and nowhere near the double-digit growth that it had thrown up earlier.

“We had some shifting of client business out of India, and that accounted for the lack of the kind of growth that we have seen in India,” Roth told analysts.

China, Latin America and Australia have all seen double-digit growth during the quarter that saw worldwide revenues rise 6.1 per cent to $1.64 billion.

But IPG continued to wallow in losses. It reported an operating loss of $11.7 million, sharply down from the $42.4 million in the same quarter a year ago.

IPG is one of the big four global advertising holding companies that has agencies such as McCann Worldgroup, Foote, Cone & Belding, Lowe & Partners, and IPG Mediabrands. It also has a holding in public relations company Weber Shandwick.

Agency foray

R/GA — an advertising agency in the IPG stable — also plans to come to India. “R/GA is now active in over 15 markets, including Sã Paolo, London, Sydney and Singapore, with China and India currently in the planning stage,” Roth said.

Founded in 1977, by two brothers, Richard and Robert Greenberg with $15,000 of capital, R/GA was founded as a design company that focused on motion graphics, live-action film and video production.