Havas suffered a 14.3% year-on-year decline in organic growth in the UK in the fourth quarter of 2009, as the French marketing group said its operations were still taking a hit from the “steep reduction in advertising spend in the UK”.
Havas’ UK operations include media and advertising agencies Arena BLM, MPG and Euro RSCG – the latter being my former employer.
In the UK, revenues for 2009 registered at €164m, a fall of 11.6% on the year in organic growth terms. However, one area of strength was the performance of its digital operations, which it said had increased from 9% share of group revenue in 2006, to 16% in 2009. This was attributed to account wins in the past 12 months include Euro RSCG 4D scooping IBM, and Heineken in the US awarding its digital business to Euro RSCG in New York.
It added that digital revenue was forecast to more than double in 2010, to almost 20% of group revenue.
To me this shows the continuing trend towards using online media as a primary marketing tool and highlights the serious reduction in traditional spend in areas like advertising in the local and national press.