"Our media and specialty agencies held up well, in no small part by the continued success in gaining new business," said Omnicom President-CEO John Wren, who also voiced an optimistic note that the worst advertising economy in decades could be over by the end of the year. "Clients are increasing plans for spending, and people are starting to look at the glass as half-full."
Organic growth for the fourth quarter rose by 4.7%, a slight increase over the 4.5% from the fourth quarter of 2000. But it was a strong quarter compared with Havas, for instance, which reported a 4.8% drop in organic growth for fourth-quarter 2001 from the same period the year before.
Though Mr. Wren cautioned that profits were made possible because of the company's compensation system -- no bonuses are awarded unless agencies meet their revenue and profit goals for the year -- he did offer more optimism when he said Omnicom expects to meet its goal of 10% growth in earnings and revenue for 2002.
Interpublic Group of Cos., the world's largest holding company, will report its earnings Feb. 28. No.2 WPP Group will announce Wednesday morning.