'Visibility into marketing spend extremely challenging': IPG withdraws 2020 financial target

CEO Michael Roth underscored IPG's long track record of navigating successfully through uncertain economic periods.

Interpublic Group has withdrawn its 2020 full-year financial target amid economic uncertainty. 

Chairman and CEO Michael Roth told investors on Thursday that it is the direct result of the "unknown magnitude and duration" of COVID-19’s impact. 

He explained: "The impact of COVID-19 has continued in recent weeks to grow around the world in human tragedy and macroeconomic cost. We remain focused on protecting the health and safety of our employees around the world, serving our clients, and supporting our communities.

"Our strategic strengths continue through this challenging period, notably our best-in-class talent, client-centric culture, differentiated go-to-market strategy, industry-leading data management capabilities, and deep relevance of our offerings. Nonetheless, in the current environment, visibility into marketing and media spend is extremely challenging."

Roth said that the company’s balance sheet and liquidity are strong. He underscored IPG’s long track record of navigating successfully through uncertain economic periods due to the strength of talent and operating disciplines that are in full force.

He added: "We have multiple cost levers to align expenses with changes in revenue and our operators are executing as appropriate on both the revenue and expense sides."

The company anticipates providing additional commentary at the time of its first quarter earnings release, which is scheduled towards the end of April.

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