French advertising agency, Publicis has warned it would be “very difficult” to meet its annual target of 4% organic sales growth after a second-quarter slowdown caused in part by the failure of its planned merger with Omnicom in May, Reuters has reported. Organic sales growth fell to 0.5% from 3.3% in the first quarter, with growth in North America not enough to offset weakness in Europe and sluggishness in China and India. Publicis is the world’s third-largest ad agency after Britain’s WPP and its deal with number two Omnicom was supposed to create the world’s largest agency, best-equipped to compete in the internet era. The two firms called it off in early May after a battle for control and divergent corporate cultures.
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