The 2.1% fall in organic growth in Q2 2018 was the first since Arthur Sadoun took over, and was accompanied by an 8.3% drop in revenues from Q2 2017, to €2.2bn (£1.92bn), revealed in the company’s results for the first half of its financial year today.
Sadoun blamed some of the fall on "a bump in the road" at the French holding company’s healthcare business in the US, which was described as "highly volatile".
Europe was also hit by a 1.7% drop in organic growth in the first half of this year, which was blamed on the temporary suspension of campaigns by clients owing to the introduction of the new GDPR data laws. However, the UK was a bright spot, with growth of 1.7% over the same period.
Sadoun said: "Overall, our first half financial results, combined with our impressive new business wins that will start ramping up in the second half, make us confident to deliver our full year objective of improving growth and margin versus 2017."
The turn for the worse in Publicis Groupe’s performance caused a 7% drop in its share price as of 9.45am today and had a knock-on effect on WPP’s share price, which was down 3.5%.
Omnicom, the biggest US holding company, also underperformed in its latest financial results earlier this week, according to financial analysts Liberum.