Those competitors include other agency holding companies, such as WPP, which has invested heavily in data, and consultancies, many of which already provide systems integration capabilities to IPG clients and want to capitalize on the opportunity to also offer creative services.
Roth said IPG’s “open architecture” model – which aligns Mediabrands with all IPG agencies – is “a very compelling argument against them trying to get into our business.”
He also seemed slightly bemused by the consultancies’ attempt to compete around creative: “[With] the firepower we can bring in on creative work, there’s no way these new competitors can compete with that. And the results show that.”
While IPG seeks to differentiate with better data capabilities, it already has an advantage with its transparency policy. Roth emphasized IPG doesn’t buy digital media as a principal.
Roth wouldn’t say specifically if IPG’s reputation around transparency and its media agnosticism were the reasons it won business, but he claimed it made a difference with clients.
Furthermore, press coverage around transparency issues make it a continuing issue with clients, which in turn enhances IPG’s opportunity to expand its media offerings.
The holding company’s Q3 earnings were strong – total revenue reached $1.92 billion, a 3% year-over-year increase, while its organic revenue grew 4.3% sequentially.