Omnicom anticipates slower growth in the current fourth quarter, with organic growth in the range of 2% to 3.5%, according to Philip Angelastro, executive VP and chief financial officer.
Wren said Omnicom has “a healthy level of caution” amid macro factors including the war in Ukraine, inflation, rising interest rates and continuing global supply-chain disruption.
“We are internally acting as if the markets are going to be extremely difficult,” and Omnicom is looking at operating costs and ways to increase productivity, Wren said.
At the same time, Wren stressed that he believes Omnicom has a portfolio of services that positions the company well going forward.
In terms of people and payroll, Wren said Omnicom is looking closely "at our processes,” seeking ways to “offshore where it's appropriate” and eyeing automation where it is possible.
Salary and related service costs are Omnicom’s biggest expenses, equal to about half of revenue.
Angelastro said Omnicom is preparing for macro uncertainty “to be ready to manage through any disruptions that might occur.”
He noted Omnicom has some open positions and said some could be filled with "contractors and a flexible workforce rather than with permanent people."
Wren said Omnicom is looking to reduce its real estate costs, noting that some leases will be expiring in 2023 and 2024.