BARCELONA Nov 15 French advertising group Publicis struck a cautious note on the prospects for global advertising at the end of 2012 and 2013, saying they did not know how their clients would react in the future.
Chief Operating Officer Jean-Yves Naouri was asked for his thoughts on the future of ad markets at an investor conference run by Morgan Stanley, where rival groups WPP and Omnicom had already laid out their thoughts.
The advertising industry is renowned for its high-profile executives who give a running commentary on the state of the markets.
An announcement by Publicis that organic revenue had grown by 7 percent in October after an industry-wide slump in September was described as "incredible, in every sense of the word" by the WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell on Wednesday.
"The main answer is we don't know," Naouri said, after explaining that clients in Europe were very cautious and the United States tough.
"We don't know what will happen by the end of the year, we don't know if we will see some clients adjusting their numbers by cutting their marketing expenditures. This is something that we have witnessed in the past.
"So we are not giving any strong perspective for the end of this year or the next as it's too early to tell."
Omnicom said on Wednesday that it was more optimistic about 2013 while WPP said it was remaining cautious.
Naouri said the French group, the world's third largest advertising company, had been surprised in September when some of its projects were delayed. But he said this has been merely a phasing matter.
"And we have been reassured to see that those projects have been delivered in October, so that explains why September and October were upside down.