Ad revenues could fall 8 per cent, says Publicis

Publicis, the group which owns Saatchi & Saatchi, predicted more pain for the beleaguered advertising industry yesterday, saying revenues will fall as much as 8 per cent around the world this year.

Its chief executive Maurice Levy made the dire predictions at the group's annual meeting yesterday, saying the second quarter would be worse than the first in a year that "will not be... a great vintage". He added that the group should perform ahead of its rivals, however.

He said: "At this stage we are confident we will do better than the sector's average and than the top Tier but we do not know by how much."

This follows ZenithOptimedia, the group's data arm, warning that ad spending would drop 6.9 per cent worldwide two months ago. Other data providers have similar predictions.

The World Advertising Research Center found in March that spending was down 9.6 per cent in the UK in the last three months of 2008. The group warned of further falls this year.

Mr Levy added yesterday that there would be an improvement in the last six months of the year. WPP founder Sir Martin Sorrell said in April there could be a relative improvement in the second half, but added there would be no recovery before 2010.

The Publicis chief executive added that the group's exposure to General Motors would come in at less than €55m.

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