Havas, the world’s sixth largest advertising group, reported Q3 organic growth down by 5.9%, due mainly to the temporary cessation of advertising by one of its largest clients MCI WorldCom.
The latter stands accused of serious accounting irregularities and is now struggling to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
This sharp fall, says Paris-headquartered Havas, should not recur in the fourth quarter as Worldcom resumed advertising early in October under new Chapter 11 conditions.
However, the massive loss in revenue was partially offset by new business wins during the first three quarters – among them Peugeot Marketing Services, Nestlé and Reckitt Benckiser – limiting the group’s revenue decline to 5.5% in the nine months to September 30. Total revenues for the period stand at €1.47 billion ($1.48bn; £0.94bn).
US business during the third quarter improved, as did Asia Pacific. Latin America registered a decline, while European business recorded the greatest fall in revenues. The worst-hit business sector was public relations – especially the financial category.
Data sourced from: Multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff