WPP saw a decline in healthcare and pharma in 2019 due to assignment losses.


In Q4, WPP’s like-for-like revenue fell by 1.9%. The holding company reported $13.2 billion in overall revenue in 2019.

In its earnings release, WPP said it saw declines in healthcare and pharma due to assignment losses last year. Of its revenue from the top 200 clients, healthcare and pharma clients made up 12% in 2019, the fourth largest sector. CPG, automotive and tech were WPP’s largest client sectors last year.

WPP CEO Mark Read said in a statement that WPP has made progress on its new strategy.

“We said that we would make progress in the journey to return WPP to growth, simplifying our business and reducing our debt, and we have delivered against each of these goals – having met our guidance for 2019, achieved our restructuring targets and completed the sale of a majority stake in Kantar,” the statement said.

The company forecasts flat revenue less pass-through costs in 2020. The earnings release also noted that the 2020 guidance was made “prior to any impact from the coronavirus outbreak.”

Interpublic Group

IPG earned $2.43 billion in net revenue in Q4, seeing 2.9% organic growth. In 2019 overall, the holding company reported organic growth of 3.3%.

Healthcare made up 27% of IPG’s revenue from its top 100 clients in 2019. That grew slightly from 2018 when healthcare made up 25%. The healthcare sector also makes up the largest portion of top 100 client revenue, followed by tech and telecom at 17% and auto and transportation at 13%.

Going into 2020, IPG has forecasted 3% organic growth, similar to its growth last year.


Omnicom Group reported 1.3% global revenue growth in Q4, bringing the holding company’s quarterly revenue to $4.1 billion. The company’s healthcare unit also saw 12.9% organic growth last quarter, earning $317 million. 

Omnicom breaks out its revenue into five disciplines: advertising, CRM consumer experience, CRM execution and support, public relations and healthcare. Of the five, healthcare makes up the smallest portion of overall revenue at 7.7%, earning $1.1 billion in 2019. Advertising makes up the largest portion, accounting for 56.5% of 2019 overall revenue. 

Advertising saw organic growth of 5.1% in Q4, earning $2.4 billion. CRM consumer experience increased 3.3%, CRM execution and support decreased 6.0% and public relations decreased 2.5%.

In 2019 overall, Omnicom revenue declined 2.2% to $14.9 billion, which the company attributed to foreign exchange rates and its disposition activity being in excess of acquisitions. It’s healthcare unit saw a 9.5% increase in 2019 overall, compared to 2018.

Publicis Groupe

Publicis Groupe reported a 4.5% drop in organic growth last quarter. In 2019 overall, the holding company saw a decline of 2.3% in organic growth, while net revenue rose 9% to $10.7 billion.

The company doesn’t break out specific healthcare numbers, but did report that 10% of its 2019 net revenue came from the healthcare sector. Publicis also said Pfizer, an existing client expanded its work with the company, adding media for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, while Novartis consolidated its agency work.

Publicis also noted the sale of Publicis Health Solutions, which houses Touchpoint, PDI, Tardis Medical, PHrequency and CustomPoint Recruiting, to Altamont Capital Partners. That deal was completed Jan. 31.

Arthur Sadoun, Publicis chairman and CEO, said 2019 was “a challenging year” for the company. He also noted it was a transition year, with the acquisition of data company Epsilon for $3.9 billion and the repositioning of Publicis Sapient as a business transformation company.

Publicis owns several health agencies, including Digitas Health, Heartbeat, Razorfish Health and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.