This is the third in a series of periodic summary reports about major agency holding companies prepared by students in the PRAD graduate program at DePaul University.
By Jacquelyn Drust & Aray Rivera
Interpublic Group of Companies was founded in 1961 with the goal of becoming the first marketing services management holding company. With 97 agencies under its umbrella, recognizable clients such as McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Mattel, and Clorox, and its unique Diversity and Inclusion programs, IPG is a major force in the communications industry.
Michael Roth, the CEO of IPG since 2005, has strived to improve the holding company’s culture, as well as get the results it desperately needed. Approximately 50,400 employees across 100 countries shows how dominant IPG has been in the advertising industry. Headquartered in New York City, IPG’s plethora of specialty agencies include talent representation, public relations, healthcare and sports marketing. Other specializations include digital marketing, communications planning and media buying and consumer advertising. The reason IPG has chosen these specific firms to work together is so that they can better cater to unique and specific client needs. Whether that’s a full on integrated campaign where many IPG firms work together or just a one agency project assignment, IPG has the resources to make it happen.
Some well known agencies to highlight under the IPG umbrella are McCann, Weber Shandwick, Mullen Lowe, FCB, Craft and Chicago based Golin. These agencies work with notable clients such as Coca Cola, L’Oreal, Salvation Army, Hyatt, Levi’s, Clorox, McDonald’s, and Stella Artois to name a few. IPG’s financial reports shows its Q1 2017 revenue at $1,753.9 and Q2 revenue at $1,884.9. On October 24, 2017, the Third Quarter earnings call took place.
Last fall, Michael Roth explained that “the operating profit in the quarter grew to $219 million, up 5.3%, which reflects strong Q3 operating margin expansion of 70 basis points to 11.5%.” IPG’s earnings each quarter are increasing and are set to have a successful year. Over the next five years, analysts predict IPG’s earnings to grow at an average annual rate of 11.59%. IPG is unique in the way they tackle Diversity and Inclusion within its company.
Roth began D&I programs in 2005 when he became CEO. Since then, IPG has seen an improvement of over 55% within Hispanic, Asian and African American minority groups in the “Officials and Managers” category, as well as an increase in women taking on senior and management positions. IPG holds an Inclusion Forum conference call yearly, led by Michael Roth and Heide Gardner, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and hundreds of participants from across the IPG network. These forums are meant to be an understanding of how diversity and inclusion programs are progressing at IPG. IPG also hosts a summit at the Cannes Festival of Creativity focused on the gender diversity efforts being made within the communication industry. Another event IPG hosts is its annual Inclusion Awards program where it highlights individuals from IPG’s global network who have shown leadership in advancing the company’s goal of being one of the world’s most diverse and inclusive companies.
In addition to Diversity and Inclusion, IPG focuses on volunteer work and involvement in communities and sustainability. IPG has also done well in the awards category for 2017. It was awarded the best place to work for LGBTQ Equality by Human Rights Campaign Foundation for 2017 and recently 2018. At the Effie Awards, IPG was named the most effective holding group in North America for 2017, FCB, McCann, and MullenLowe all ranked among top 10 most effective agency networks in North America, and McCann New York won most effective agency office in North America. At the Cannes Festival of Creativity 2017, IPG won 193 Cannes Lions, Seven Grand Prix, 30 Gold Lions, 65 Silver Lions, and 91 Bronze Lions.
Like it’s initial goal back in 1961, IPG is always striving to become the top advertising holding company. By having a strong company culture, impressive clients, award winning campaigns, and a bright financial future, IPG is on the verge of retaking the industry by storm.