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Omnicom Group Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript


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Participants

Corporate Executives

  • Gregory Lundberg
    Senior Vice President of Investor Relations
  • John D. Wren
    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
  • Philip J. Angelastro
    Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon, and welcome to the Omnicom Second Quarter 2023 Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded.

At this time, I'd like to introduce you to your host for today's conference, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations, Gregory Lundberg. Please go ahead.

Gregory Lundberg
Senior Vice President of Investor Relations at Omnicom Group

Thank you for joining our second quarter 2023 earnings call. With me today are John Wren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Phil Angelastro, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. On our website, omnicomgroup.com, we've posted a press release along with a presentation covering the information we'll review today as well as a webcast of this call. An archived version will be available when today's call concludes.

Before we start, I'd like to remind everyone to read the forward-looking statements and non-GAAP financial and other information that we've included at the end of our Investor presentation. Certain of the statements made today may constitute forward-looking statements and these statements are our present expectations. Relevant factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are listed in our earnings materials and in our SEC filings, including our 2022 Form 10-K.

During the course of today's call, we will also discuss certain non-GAAP measures. You can find the reconciliation of these to the nearest comparable GAAP measures in the presentation materials.

We will begin the call with an overview of our business from John and then Phil will review our financial results for the quarter. After our prepared remarks, we will open up the line for your questions.

And I will now hand the call over to John.

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

Thank you, Greg. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. We're pleased to share our second quarter results. Organic growth was a solid 3.4% for the quarter, which was in line with our expectations. Adjusted operating income margin was also in line with our expectations at 15.1%. Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the quarter was $1.81, up 7.7% versus the comparable amount in 2022. On a constant currency basis, the increase was 8.9%.

Our cash flow continues to support our primary uses of cash; dividends, acquisitions and share repurchases. And our liquidity and balance sheet remain very strong. We are pleased with our financial results for the quarter and first half and are increasing our full year organic growth target to 3.5% to 5%, and maintaining our 15.0% to 15.4% operating margin target. Phil will cover our results in more detail during his remarks.

Operationally, we had a very successful quarter. We made significant progress on our AI strategy by adding generative AI to Omni, our market-leading technology platform and entering into significant first-of-a-kind technology partnerships. We enhanced our capabilities and management team in e-commerce and retail media, solidified our position as the most creative holding company in the world at Cannes and completed a couple of important strategic acquisitions.

While we have engaged in AI for over a decade, generative AI will have a profound effect on our industry and Omnicom. We are quickly embracing the technology as we see massive opportunities to boost the productivity of our people and deliver better work to our clients. As with any new technology, we're working closely with our clients to take advantage of the benefits while being mindful of its limitations, risks and privacy concerns.

We have a significant competitive advantage in harnessing the power of generative AI through our open operating system, Omni. For over a decade, we've invested in the development of Omni. Today, more than 50,000 people use the platform in over 100 countries and it houses over 1 billion IDs globally with data from first, second and third-parties.

Generative AI will turbocharge Omni users by helping them harness, deploy and activate this rich set of data. The open architecture of Omni makes it feasible for us to quickly adapt generative AI models from our key tech partners in a scalable, reliable and secure environment. Equally important, our clients remain in control of their first-party data.

In June, at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, we announced the launch of Omni 3.0, the next-generation operating system for Omni where every experience will be powered by generative AI. The experience is delivered through Omni Assist and is the result of our partnership with Microsoft, which allowed us to be one of the first companies to be given full access to their ChatGPT model.

Omni Assist is a custom-trained enterprise-level Omnicom proprietary version of ChatGPT that enhances every task within Omni including research, creating, planning, and executing marketing campaigns. Omni Assist will give our agency teams the power to do their jobs more efficiently and focus on high-impact work for our clients.

Following the launch of Omni 3.0, we unveiled several other collaborations at Cannes that will introduce generative AI capabilities directly to our creative work. The first was Google Marketing Cloud, which offered us the unique access to Vertex AI platform and Imagen. Imagen is a text-to-image model with copyright protections built-in, enabling agency and client teams to accelerate the content development process for marketing campaigns.

Next, we announced, we were the first holding company to have access to Adobe's Firefly creative generative AI models. Combining these models with Omni data, we will be able to embed the power of Firefly into our clients' ecosystems to generate automated content in a brand's unique style and language.

Finally, we shared our first-mover collaboration with Amazon Web Services. Pairing Omnicom's open operating system with AWS' generative AI services will enable the automation of advertising campaigns and the creative journey development on behalf of our brands. These collaborations feed directly into Omni and will accelerate our generative AI capabilities.

Also announced at Cannes, we further expanded and strengthened our e-commerce and retail media capabilities by launching Omni Commerce, the industry's first connected commerce and orchestration solution. Omni Commerce provides a single standardized and customizable view of the commerce journey. With the retail media landscape becoming increasingly fragmented, Omni Commerce helps our clients harness the full power of retail media with a holistic view of their ROI.

In June, we announced the appointment of Jacquelyn Baker as CEO of the Omnicom Commerce Group. Jacquelyn succeeds Sophie Daranyi who is stepping down to pursue consultancy and non-profit opportunities. With over 20 years of commerce and brand-building experience, Jacquelyn has an established track record of driving innovation within the commerce landscape.

While we've made substantial progress with Omni and generative AI, it's critically important to note that AI can never replace the inspiration and genius that comes from our people and their creativity. These technological advances will simply make it easier and faster for them to develop and deploy creative ideas. That's why I'm especially pleased we are recognized as the Most Creative Company in the World at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Omnicom agencies from more than 40 countries won over 175 Lions throughout the week. Two of our creative networks, DDB and BBDO placed in the top three in the Network of the Year competition with DDB coming in first and BBDO coming in third.

We continue to invest in our global creative capabilities. In early July, we announced the acquisition of German-based Grabarz & Partner, a world-class creative agency headquartered in Hamburg. Grabarz has been named to prestigious industry lists such as Cannes Lions, Top Ten Independent Agencies of the Decade and Campaign UK's World's Leading Independent Agencies.

Following the announcement of Grabarz and together with certain management changes we recently made, Horizont, Germany's leading industry trade magazine noted Omnicom has significantly strengthened its position in the world's fourth-largest advertising market. Also in July, we expanded our media services through the acquisition of Ptarmigan Media. Headquartered in London with several offices around the world.

Ptarmigan is a specialist agency providing end-to-end media and marketing solutions to financial services brands. The agency's capability within the Omnicom Media Group will enable an unprecedented and singular depth of financial services industry and media planning and buying expertise.

Overall, we're very pleased with our first half financial results and our progress in key strategic initiatives. While we remain optimistic for the second half of the year, we continue to plan cautiously given the number of uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment.

I'll now turn the call over to Phil for a closer look at our financial results. Phil?

Philip J. Angelastro
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Omnicom Group

Thanks, John. As you just heard, we had a solid quarter and first half of the year, and we are on track with our expectations for both revenue growth and operating margin. Let's now go into some more detail on our results.

Starting with the summary income statement for the second quarter on Slide 3; reported revenue increased by 1.5% and by 3.4% organically. Reported operating income increased by 1.7%, and operating margin was 15.3%. Reported net income in Q2 increased by 5.1%, and our Q2 diluted earnings per share was up 8.3% on a reported basis.

During the quarter, we recognized a gain of approximately $79 million on the disposition of our research businesses, which were included in our Execution & Support discipline. And we also incurred repositioning costs of approximately $72.5 million related to severance. We have also included Slide 9 in the deck which summarizes our reported results alongside our non-GAAP adjusted results, which exclude the net impact of $6.5 million pretax from these two items. We'll review that analysis in a few minutes.

Let's now turn to revenues on Slide 4. Organic growth in the second quarter was 3.4%, which brings our year-to-date organic growth rate to 4.3%. The impact from foreign currency translation only reduced reported revenue by 0.7% compared to a reduction of over 3% in Q1, 2023. And if rates stay where they are currently, we estimate the impact of foreign currency translation will be a benefit of approximately 1.5% for Q3 and Q4 and close to flat for the year.

The impact of acquisition and disposition revenue was negative 1.5%, primarily reflecting the sale in Q2 of our research businesses. We expect a similar reduction of 1.5% for the balance of the year, although acquisitions we've recently completed will moderate this somewhat.

Now let's turn to Slide 5 to review our organic revenue growth by discipline. During the second quarter, Advertising & Media, similar to Q1 of '23, posted 5.1% growth driven by strength in our media business. Precision Marketing grew 2.3%. Certainly, clients, especially those in the tech and telecom industries have become more cautious with their spending as reflected in our tech consulting and transformation agencies. This also reflects in part the business coming off a strong 21% growth comp last year. We expect our investments in generative AI will naturally benefit this discipline, and we expect growth in this discipline to accelerate in the future.

Commerce & Brand Consulting grew by 2.4%, driven primarily by our branding and design consulting agencies. Experiential growth was 9.2%, driven by strong results in Europe, France in particular, as well as China from clients in the automotive and luxury categories. Execution & Support revenue fell 3.8% due primarily to declines in our merchandising and fuel marketing agencies. Public Relations was flat in Q2, coming off a 16% growth comp last year, which reflected the benefit of some revenue from the U.S. election cycle that wasn't present this year. Finally, Healthcare performance was solid at 3%, and our outlook for this discipline remains very good over time.

Turning to Slide 6, we, once again, grew organically in every region globally. Notably, there was strong growth in Asia Pacific led by China, which had the benefit of easier comps due to the lockdowns in Q2 of 2022.

Looking at the revenue by industry sector on Slide 7. Compared to the second quarter of 2022, we had higher relative weights in Food & Beverage, Pharma & Health, and Automotive, offset by lower relative weights in Technology and Telecom. Other categories were relatively stable.

Turning to Slide 8, which is our operating expense detail. You can see a more granular view of our operating expense levels. Slide 16 in the appendix also shows these expenses on a constant dollar basis. Salary and related service costs were again down as a percentage of revenues year-over-year. We saw reductions driven by some of our repositioning actions and through changes in our global employee mix.

Third-party service costs increased due to an increase in organic revenue, particularly in proprietary media and events. These costs include third-party supplier costs when we act as principal in providing services to our clients. They are an integral part of our service offering to our clients, and we generated profit on them.

Third-party incidental costs, which we began breaking out separately last quarter, decreased a bit compared to the prior year. These costs primarily consist of client-related travel and incidental out-of-pocket costs that we bill back to clients directly at our cost, at no profit. Occupancy and other costs were up slightly in dollar terms but flat as a percentage of revenue.

As discussed last quarter, we saw increased occupancy costs associated with higher levels of in-office work, offset by lower rent from the reductions in our real estate portfolio in the first quarter of 2023. SG&A expenses decreased in both dollar terms and as a percentage of revenue due primarily to lower professional fees.

Now let's turn to Slide 9. As I mentioned earlier, this is a clear presentation which summarizes our reported and non-GAAP adjusted results for both the three and six months ended June 30. As a reminder, the non-GAAP adjusted amounts in the second quarter of 2023 include a gain of approximately $79 million on the disposition of our research businesses, as well as repositioning costs of approximately $72.5 million related to severance for a net impact of $6.5 million pretax.

Operating income was up 1.7% on a reported basis and up 50 basis points on a non-GAAP adjusted basis. The related operating income margins were 15.3% and 15.1%, respectively, both of which were close to flat with the operating income margin of 15.2% from the second quarter of 2022. For the full year, we're comfortable with the expected range of our operating income margin of between 15% and 15.4%.

Net interest expense was $27.4 million for the quarter, a reduction of $12.7 million primarily from higher levels of interest income compared to Q2 of 2022, given comparable higher short-term investing rates were in place in the second half of 2022. In second half of 2023, we expect that net interest expense will be flat to up slightly relative to the second half of 2022.

Our reported income tax rate was 27%. The non-GAAP adjusted tax rate excluding the gains, the repositioning costs, and the related taxes was 26.3%. We still expect a rate of 27% for the balance of the year. Reported net income in Q2 increased by 5.1% and non-GAAP adjusted net income increased by 4.7%. Our diluted earnings per share was up 8.3% on a reported basis and up 7.7% on a non-GAAP adjusted basis. Year-to-date reported diluted EPS is up 16.3% and up 9.4% on a non-GAAP adjusted basis. This diluted EPS growth was also driven by lower shares outstanding resulting from share repurchases.

Slide 10 shows our cash flow performance so far this year. We define free cash flow as net cash provided by operating activities, excluding changes in operating capital, which historically we expect to be neutral for the year. Free cash flow for the second quarter of 2023 was $880 million, an increase of 14.7% from last year.

Regarding our uses of cash, we used $285 million of cash to pay dividends to common shareholders and another $32 million for dividends to non-controlling interest shareholders. Our capital expenditures were $40 million. Acquisition payments were $55 million excluding net proceeds from dispositions of approximately $180 million. Our stock repurchase activity, net of proceeds from stock plans, continued in the second quarter, bringing our year-to-date amount to $506 million.

Slide 11 is a summary of our credit, liquidity and debt maturities. At the end of the second quarter of 2023, the book value of our outstanding debt was $5.6 billion. There were no changes in outstanding balances during the quarter other than foreign exchange translations. Our $2.5 billion revolving credit facility, which backstops our $2 billion U.S. Commercial Paper Program, remains undrawn, and our cash equivalents and short-term investments were $2.8 billion. Our next debt maturity is not until November of 2024.

Slide 12 presents our historical returns on two key metrics for the 12 months ended June 30, 2023. We generated a return on invested capital of 22% and a return on equity of 46%. These metrics are a strong reflection of the strength of our business and our conservative capital structure.

Slide 13 is the summary of all our recent technology partnership announcements. As a reminder, our historical development of Omni and our current investments in technology and services that prepare our business for the future, are largely reflected in our operating income. We expect to continue to grow our revenues, improve our operations, return cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, while we manage through the current economic environment, and as John discussed, continue to prepare for a dynamic future.

Operator, please open the lines up for question-and-answers. Thank you.

Questions and Answers

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] We'll start with Michael Nathanson with MoffettNathanson. Please go ahead.

Michael Nathanson
Analyst at MoffettNathanson Research

Thanks. Thanks, good afternoon. One for John and one for Phil. John, as you noted in your opening comments, Omnicom has always had a really strong position on the creative side of the business, especially with your global networks. And I wonder, do you think that generative AI lowers that trust [Phonetic] advantage or brings new entrants into this industry? So I guess, I know you feel it is a positive outcome, but we're worried about competition or just people breaking up and doing it on their own.

And Phil, any help on the repositioning charge? What is that related to? Is this the end of this for the year? And what type of incremental benefit do we see on the margins from these actions? Thanks.

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

Technology will impact every aspect of our business, I believe. When you stay focused on the best and the brightest and used to call them creators and now call them knowledge workers. They're always going to be what differentiates companies like ours from everyone else. I don't think that the technology is simply there to make it simpler and faster to gain insights from which creative ideas will be generated. So, will it have an impact? Yes, of course, over a period of time. But it won't -- it won't reduce the importance of creativity to the IP of Omnicom.

Philip J. Angelastro
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Omnicom Group

As far as the second question, Michael, the repositioning charge, primarily or almost substantially related to severance actions that we took to get our cost structure in line with our revenue expectations for the year. We were pretty aggressive in trying to make sure that we made the appropriate changes that we thought we needed to make. Some of it was a swap out of skills and some of it was realignment of the cost structures to be more conservative in the forecast for the balance of the year.

We don't expect the level that we experienced in Q1 and Q2 as far as repositioning in the second half. But we're always going to continue to look at the business to balance the cost base with revenue expectations as those change. Could that change in the second half? Not likely, but we're always going to be looking at the cost base pretty aggressively, especially in the uncertain times we're in right now.

As far as margins go, our expectations are still where they were at the beginning of the year. We expect to be within the range of 15% to 15.4% that we talked about back in February. We don't have any reason to change that as far as the full year margins go. So we're still expecting that. We're making quite a few investments as came through on the prepared remarks with respect to GenAI and others. And as you know, for us, most of those investments run through the P&L as opposed to through large acquisitions. So, our expectations haven't changed as far as margins for the year.

Michael Nathanson
Analyst at MoffettNathanson Research

Yeah. Thanks, Phil. thanks, John.

Operator

Next, we'll go to the line of David Karnovsky with J.P. Morgan. Please go ahead.

David Karnovsky
Analyst at J.P.Morgan

Thanks. John, I wanted to see if you could just give any additional context around the organic guide. I think in May, you framed it as comfort with 3% and 5% as a stretch. Would you now sort of put it similarly with sort of 3.5% as a point of comfort and 5% still as the stretch?

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

Yes, I would. I'd say I couldn't answer it any better than you asked it, based upon the known uncertainties out there, and for those of you who have been following us for a long time, there's always budget flush and projects in the fourth quarter which are not our focus at the moment but will increasingly become focus as we get into and out of this summer. And just as a bit of color, I think in the last 22 years, I think -- I can only recall two years where that project revenue didn't come through. But there were the years that that occurred where -- when there was economic uncertainty to the level that is potentially there for the balance of this year.

David Karnovsky
Analyst at J.P.Morgan

Okay. And then, I think a couple of months back, you mentioned some clients pausing but not necessarily cutting their digital transformation work, maybe as a reaction to gen AI. Wanted to see if you can just update on that and how clients are approaching some of these larger projects.

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

Yeah. I mean, I think -- if you look at, I think, a chart, it's probably number 7, which outlines and compares our revenue by industry. I think Phil mentioned this in his comments, where we saw the biggest pause was really in our tech sector and in our telecommunications sector. We didn't lose any clients in those areas, but they went through some pretty severe restructurings of their own during the first half and they were conservative about most of our costs.

If I have to make a general statement, since the beginning of the year, CEOs have been looking for flexibility. They haven't -- they're not walking away from their commitments, and PepsiCo even mentioned earlier today in its conference call that it was increasing its spending. So, I believe we're in a very good place, a sound place. But as certain clients suffer, we'll go along for a bit of the ride. But we haven't lost anything. We've been winning business. So, that helps us as well.

David Karnovsky
Analyst at J.P.Morgan

Okay, thank you.

Operator

Next, we'll go to the line of Ben Swinburne with Morgan Stanley. Please go ahead.

Benjamin Swinburne
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Thanks. Good afternoon. John, if you guys are successful with AI, what would we see in your reported results over the longer-term on a maybe a three to five year basis? Is this an organic growth driver from a top line point of view? Is it a productivity and margin opportunity, including outsourcing? And you can't say all of the above, but would love to get your thoughts on sort of what success looks like here.

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

Ben, you stole it from me, that's -- I was going to say all of the above. Certainly, productivity for sure, because naturally, it will make the gathering of data and the refinement of data, which leads to better insights in a much more rapid, labor-less intensive way. In terms of our growth, I believe that for the last several years, increasingly, we're able to prove to the client the ROI of a dollar spent.

And so, as a result of that productivity and with the complexity that will come with all the questions which will surround how we use generative AI in various markets, given different laws and different regulations, our ability to navigate that -- those markets, those issues, increased efficiency and effectiveness and improvements in our ability to measure the benefit of a dollar spent, I believe, will lead to increased organic growth over the near and long-term.

Benjamin Swinburne
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

That's helpful. And then, if I could just ask you guys a follow-up. You talked about a pause in spending, particularly in Tech & Telecom. And I think we're all probably a little bit surprised to see the Precision Marketing number this quarter. But Advertising & media, your biggest revenue source, was one of your fastest-growing.

I guess I'm just curious, like, why do you think clients continue to spend there and are pulling back in areas that, I don't know, I would have thought maybe some of this business transformation stuff would have been more sticky than on the advertising side? I don't know if maybe it's -- there's more nuance there. But just would love your thoughts on the continued strength in media versus the softness we're seeing in some of the other areas we thought of as growth areas or think of as growth areas.

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

I might address that in the reverse of how you posed it. First, in terms of Precision Marketing, we expect it to continue to grow. It is a core long-term part of our business. And what you saw or what really happened in the first part of the year is that you take a Facebook, which cut 20,000 jobs. If you are the CEO of that company cutting 20,000 jobs, you can't let everything else go on in a normal sense. Plus, -- and I'm not picking on Facebook, I'm just using it as an example or a proxy for the rest of the industry.

As you do that, you disrupt your own company for a very short period of time. They've been able to recover, I think, pretty quickly. Well, as you do that, the people that you -- who've been working on certain projects, pause, change, may have different bosses and there might be a pause and a reevaluation.

What's key is not that, because we're a service company so we'll succeed with our clients and we'll suffer with our clients. The beauty of Omnicom is its depth of its client base and the geographic base in which we operate. But we can't expect everything to remain constant for us as companies go through whatever level of reorganization they have to go through. So, that's really that.

The media wins and media -- in the back half [Phonetic] of last year, if you take 2022, our Media group won more new business than the rest of the industry, and that winning streak continues. We only -- that 800, we don't expect [Phonetic] a 1,000. And so that's why you see the continued strength in that area.

Benjamin Swinburne
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Great. Thank you.

Operator

Next, we'll go to the line of Steven Cahall with Wells Fargo. Please go ahead.

Steven Cahall
Analyst at Wells Fargo Securities

Thank you. Maybe first just, John, on the slowdown in U.S. organic, I think it was kind of mid-2s in the second quarter. It was about 5% in the first quarter. Is that kind of entirely attributable to that weakness that you called out in Tech & Telecom since you suggested that you didn't really have any meaningful account losses or is there anything else going on in the U.S. market that we should be attune to that might kind of lead into the way we look out for the back half of the year?

And then, Phil, I just wanted to be really clear on the margin guide, the 15.1% to 15.4%. I think on the last call, you ended by saying that you were comfortable at the top end of the range. You did say that now you're going to have some generative AI investments this year. So I wanted to just see if it's still realistic that you'd be at the top end of that range, closer to 15.4%. And should we exclude some of the repositioning charges from that guidance? Thank you.

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

Okay. Probably one of the things -- it's hard to project or to forecast. But in the area -- in the U.S., in events and -- in entertainment type of events, we had a reduction in the quarter of that sector of 9.1%. So, even though I pointed to those two areas it's because it's very evident when you look at our presentation materials. But I would never say always, only or never. That's just one of the areas which dragged our growth down a little bit in the U.S.

Philip J. Angelastro
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Omnicom Group

Yeah, more growth outside the U.S. in events overall, down a little bit in the U.S. specifically, which had an impact. And then on top of that, the Precision Marketing reduction certainly was impacted by the Tech & Telecom clients that had dialed back some spending in that area.

[Speech Overlap] And then on -- let me just address the margin comment. I think, overall, in terms of our outlook for the year, nothing's really changed. I think we've always been conservative about those projections. And certainly, we're always trying to find the right balance in terms of the appropriate sustainable growth, making the investments we need to make to support that long-term sustainable growth and find the right balance for the margins to deliver to shareholders.

So, those are all part of the equation. I don't think our overall expectations for the year from a margin perspective have changed. But we're certainly not going to get ahead of ourselves halfway through the year when there's still some uncertainty around the second half out there.

Steven Cahall
Analyst at Wells Fargo Securities

Great. Thank you.

Philip J. Angelastro
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Omnicom Group

Sure.

Operator

And next, we'll go to the line of Tim Nollen with Macquarie. Please go ahead.

Tim Nollen
Analyst at Macquarie Capital

Hey, thanks. I'd like to come back to the generative AI topic, please. On your Slide 13, and John, you ran through a number of these names. It's practically a who's who of big tech companies that you're partnering with. I wonder if you could fill us in a little bit more on what it is about the Omni platform that makes it attractive to these kinds of companies. And it looks like these are largely creative efforts. I wonder if you could speak if there is other components in terms of media planning and buying functionality as part of these? Thanks.

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

Sure. There's slightly different reasons associated with each one of these partnerships, but a central theme is we did -- we do have the Omni platform, which does service and we have it deployed to over 50,000 people around the world. So that makes us attractive. Our open architecture is key to why I think we were considered and given the opportunities we were given with these companies. Because connecting to them, enhancing on how their products will be utilized, being flexible across a large number of clients using different types of systems or different applications, that open architecture means that we're not protecting a base and then trying to ingest something brand new.

We were established from the very, very start to operate in an environment that we couldn't predict what was going to change or what was going to come. But we wanted to build in the flexibility in the architecture that we developed so that whatever came along, it would be very simple to discard what was no longer useful and to incorporate what was going to be meaningful.

So I think those are the key items that put us to the front of the queue with many of these companies. I fully expect that as they get further along down the road with their products that they're going to open their apertures up to others in the industry, that won't come as a surprise. But the platform, that Omni platform, I know you hear us talking about it a lot, but I can't explain enough the value of the open architecture and the fact that we have complete flexibility and -- that's the primary reason.

Also, these tech companies know that we take very seriously transparency and we look to be a leader in privacy, which are all concerns of these organizations as their products maybe get questioned by legislations and governments. You see it in threats that people are perceiving to employment in certain industries. The fact that we've been hypersensitive to that and always have been hypersensitive to that also makes us an attractive partner to do business with.

Tim Nollen
Analyst at Macquarie Capital

Great. And in terms of the functions you'll be performing with them, again, a lot of them seem like efforts to improve creativity. Could you talk a little bit more about like the cleanroom technologies or the -- some of the delivery [Phonetic] data that you're speaking about in the slide here, a bit more on what beyond using generative AI for creative functions?

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

Yeah, sure. And thank you for that question because I didn't include something in my answer that I should have. Also, this is philosophical and I even put hand over heart and know that we do it 100% of the time. When we ingest client's first-party data and then enrich it with the second-party and third-party data we have, that data remains the data of our clients. We don't take and reuse or resell; that data is exclusively theirs. And that's, in effect, what we're doing in the cleanrooms.

It's simplification, but that's what we're doing. And clients, the more sophisticated clients, are increasingly attracted to that guarantee. And so that's also a terribly important element of why we are considered. And there's even a major supplier here or a partner that hadn't opened up to -- opened up their cleanrooms to anyone, but to us. And as a result of our -- this partnership, we pointed that out again to them but at a very high level, and we're now doing cleanrooms with them.

But even though it seems like it is focused on creativity or creative products, but there's a lot -- awful -- and that's why it gets mentioned in the short descriptions that we provided in our presentation, but it goes much deeper than that because many of the products that we're embedding and looking to incorporate in what we offer to clients are really driving efficiencies. And we'll be creating APIs for CRM, for commerce, for PR, across the board.

Tim Nollen
Analyst at Macquarie Capital

Yeah. That helps a lot. Thanks, John.

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

You're welcome.

Operator

And our next question comes from the line of Craig Huber with Huber Research. Please go ahead.

Craig Huber
Analyst at Huber Research Partners

Thank you. John, curious, can you talk a little bit further about the tone of business out there, the tone of the client conversations that you're having here in the U.S. and Europe and how that may or may not have changed versus going into the start of this year, please?

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

Sure. Well, I think a theme that has been constant so far throughout the year is clients wanting to create flexibility. That doesn't mean that they want to cut back at all on their spend but they want to have the flexibility to react, so they're not committing. You see it primarily in the media area where clients held back in terms of their upfront and preserved their rights to enter into the scatter markets as we get later into the year.

It's not an election year so they know that inventory will probably be available. But I'm in over my head with that last statement because I have experts who can speak much more eloquently about that than I can. But it's that preservation of flexibility that has been a constant theme throughout the year. COVID, all the negative impacts of COVID for most sophisticated large companies was a pretty easy time because there was a lot of governmental support throughout the world, so people could make commitments.

With that gone, as it should be, people have had to adjust their businesses in various ways depending on the industry that you're in. And the consumer is -- still has money to spend, but you see changes in behavior. You see the travel industry going through the roof because everybody probably was locked up for three years. And you see conservatism in maybe some other spending. So, we watch that as every one of our clients do. And we look to see what our clients are doing as signals about how we should adjust our own portfolio and services.

Craig Huber
Analyst at Huber Research Partners

Then my follow-up question, John, can you just touch on wins and losses out there for Omnicom in the first half of the year? And just what is your characterization of the amount of accounts that are up for review that you're willing to talk about in first half of the year? Is it slower than normal? Is it above average? Is it about the same as you've seen historically? What's sort of going on out there in your view because the trade press clearly is not picking up as much as they used to?

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

No, they're not, because the world is a lot more complex and many of the reviews that go on are closed reviews. We've been fortunate in that we continue to bat, I think, above average and that's a standard that's expected here. We've had very, very few losses and we've had quite a number of gains. And especially in the area of media, that continues.

PR, the -- if you see slowness year-over-year is principally because a section of our business is dedicated to elections and to government activity. And so that happens every cycle. So it just continues this year, but we continue to win business as we sit here today. CRM remains strong even though we may suffer with a client or two as that client suffers.

But -- now, in terms of looking out and forward for the balance of the year, there are a number of pitches which are pretty enticing and exciting for us, and we're hoping to be successful in all but a very few number of cases. They're offensive for Omnicom, they're not defensive. So we're very secure in our base of revenue and what we can expect. And we'll invest whatever new business funds we have to invest in to try to continue to outpace others in terms of our ability to win.

Craig Huber
Analyst at Huber Research Partners

And John, if I could just sneak in one more about the two ongoing strikes in Hollywood. If this drags on for a number of more months here and stuff, and people start to look at what their ad budgets for traditional television, etc., some streaming stuff that's up, but the change in the content not being as good as before. Do you -- can you make a case that could actually be a positive for Omnicom and your industry that adds further complexity and your customers would need, say, more handholding for Omnicom to figure out what to do in that sort of environment, sort of unknowable and stuff? And how do you view that?

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

Well, I'm -- I kind of view it that I hope this ends more quickly than it's being predicted to end. But we remain completely agnostic to any form of media. And with the technology and the database and collection of information that we have married with clients' first-party data, we're able to create other ways to attract audiences. If one road closes down even temporarily, we know how to go down the other road. Hope that answers your question.

Craig Huber
Analyst at Huber Research Partners

Okay. Great. Thank you, John. That's helpful. Thank you.

Operator

And next, we go to the line of Jason Bazinet with Citi. Please go ahead.

Jason Bazinet
Analyst at Smith Barney Citigroup

There's so much hype out there about generative AI. I'd just like to ask a basic sort of calibration question. Let's say, five years from now, what percent of your revenues do you think would be using generative AI, roughly?

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

I think the last guy to do five year plans was Nikita Khrushchev. We're responding with AI as if our hair was on fire. But companies are complex and change at various paces, not always at the cutting edge of what's available to them. Digital transformation, which started in the mid-90s, is still going on to a lesser extent than maybe it was. But -- so I wouldn't -- I haven't even given a thought about how to answer your question.

We're acting that we want to be leaders in this area. We want to be in a unique position to offer to clients and potential clients the best technology, the best tools that can be offered in the marketplace at any given time. And we know that if we're providing a premium service, we can expect to be paid fairly for that. And that's about as much as my five year plan says, but I do.

Jason Bazinet
Analyst at Smith Barney Citigroup

Okay. Thanks.

John D. Wren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Group

I don't spend a second worrying about the past. I only spend time learning about the present and the future, but not quite that far out. I can probably give you a pretty good guess at the second quarter of next year, but I won't.

Jason Bazinet
Analyst at Smith Barney Citigroup

Very good. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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