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UK falls as Interpublic posts flat third-quarter results

NEW YORK - Revenue has remained flat at the Interpublic Group for the third quarter of 2006, with the firm posting revenues of $1.45bn (£760m), up just 1% from the same period a year ago as big account losses such as GM Europe took their toll.

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In comparison with the first nine months of 2005, revenues fell 1.5% to $4.31bn during the first nine months of 2006.

For the third quarter and first nine months of 2006, organic revenue growth was solid in the Asia Pacific and Latin American regions, but down in the UK and Continental Europe. 

In the US, organic revenue was up in the quarter and the nine months, primarily reflecting increased spending from existing clients.

Michael Roth, Interpublic chairman and chief executive, said: "We are pleased with our revenue performance in the quarter and year to date. All of our companies are demonstrating that they are increasingly competitive in the marketplace. As important, the new talent we are recruiting and developing from within is driving cultural change and embracing the kinds of integrated solutions that our clients increasingly require.

"We continue to believe that we are well positioned for improved performance next year and to achieve our 2008 turnaround goals."

The Interpublic Group, which owns ad agency McCann-Erickson, has had mixed fortunes over the past few months. Last week, the group's media agency Initiative lost the €100m (£67m) Central and Eastern European Unilever media buying account to Omnicom Media Group's PHD.
 
At the end of September, the network also lost the £400m European General Motors account to Aegis agency Carat. The media account was held by Initiative in the UK and Universal McCann across continental Europe.

However, the network has recently been bolstered by the news that Interpublic agency Draft FCB has picked up the creative duties on the $570m Walmart account, with Carat set to handle media. 

Interpublic Group worldwide agencies include Draft FCB Group, FutureBrand, GolinHarris International, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, Lowe Worldwide, pooled buying operation Magna Global, McCann Erickson, Momentum, MRM, Octagon, Universal McCann and PR agency Weber Shandwick.

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