* Omnicom CEO says too early to make clear prediction
* Omnicom CEO says especially positive on latter part of
* WPP CEO says October improved, cautious on 2013
By Leila Abboud and Kate Holton
BARCELONA, Nov 14 Omnicom, the biggest
ad agency in the United States, said it was feeling
"increasingly positive" on the outlook for the advertising
market next year, despite a low-growth economy persisting across
The comments follow an industry-wide advertising slowdown in
September which had prompted analysts and investors to be on the
hunt for any signs of improvement in the willingness of large
corporations to spend on advertising.
While Omnicom said it was increasingly positive for next
year, WPP, the world's largest advertising agency, said
it was remaining cautious on 2013 even though they had seen some
improvement in October from September.
Neither group however went as far as France's Publicis
, which said this month that October had bounced back
with organic revenue growth of 7 percent.
"It's too early to make a clear prediction," Omnicom Chief
Executive John Wren told the Morgan Stanley TMT conference on
"People expect a lower growth environment across the globe,
but that isn't a disaster. I am increasingly positive on 2013,
especially the latter part. I'm not hearing any horrible, scary
things from clients we talk to."
Advertising spending generally tracks economic growth, so
slowdowns in world markets tend to have a knock-on effect for ad
Wren declined to say how much he expected the ad market or
Omnicom to grow next year but staffers at his agencies would be
in talks in the coming 4-5 weeks with major corporations to
determine their ad budgets.
WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell said he would remain
cautious on the outlook for 2013, because it lacks any major
event like an Olympic Games or major election.
"In my view things are quite tough," Sorrell told the same
conference. "September was a tough month, it was quite
remarkable... it was across the board in the industry.
"In October we did see some recovery. One of our
competitors, Publicis, talked about 7 percent in October and...
the word that comes to mind is incredible. In all senses of the
"The odds are, as we look at 2013 that we have to be
cautious. There are no events in 2013."
Omnicom, home to advertising, media and public relations
agencies such as BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, TBWA Worldwide
and Fleishman-Hillard, posted organic growth in the third
quarter of 3.5 percent.
It outpaced rivals WPP and Publicis, which saw 1.9
percent and 2 percent organic growth respectively in the
Both Wren and Sorrell cautioned against looking too closely
at month-to-month changes in the market and Wren declined to
give details of Omnicom's performance in October or how the
fourth quarter was progressing.
"We initially thought this year would come in around 3.5-4
percent organic growth, and it will probably end up in that
range," he added.