Interpublic posts quarterly loss and organic revenue decline

LONDON - Interpublic Group, the beleaguered owner of McCann Erickson and Lowe Worldwide, has posted a quarterly net loss of $101.5m (£58.3m) as it battles to contain accounting problems and client losses.

This latest announcement by the group comes amid a widening of the US Securities & Exchange Commission investigation into its finances. This will now include the results released in September, when it revealed a mammoth loss of $558.2m for 2004.

The results for the three months to September 30 this year also show an organic revenue decline of 2.6%. This comes in contrast to a promising start to the year, when organic growth for the first half was 1.3%.

A statement from the group says that its priorities are to increase organic growth by "strengthening collaboration among our agencies and increasing the number of marketing services used by each client".

Recent client losses for the group include US DIY store Lowe's dumping McCann Erickson and appointing Omnicom Group's BBDO and OMD to handle its $315m advertising account. Interpublic also lost the €1.5bn L'Oreal account, which has moved to ZenithOptimedia, as well as the $3.2bn General Motors account.

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