Havas Blames WorldCom for 6% Revenue Drop

BOSTON — Havas today blamed “the virtual halt in MCI WorldCom advertising expenditure” for a 6% decline in third-quarter revenue to approximately $445 million based on the current rate of exchange, according to a statement issued by the company.

The Paris-based agency holding company also noted that, “This sharp fall should not reoccur in the fourth quarter since MCI WorldCom subsequently resumed advertising … in early October, under new conditions as established by the Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) procedure.”

Havas also reported revenue of approximately $1.47 billion for the first nine months of 2002, a decline of about 3.5% from the same period a year ago. Traditional advertising services have been especially sluggish, particularly in North America. Ad revenue for that geographic region is down 9% to $550 million in 2002 compared to the same period a year ago. In accordance with French reporting rules, Havas will not disclose net income until the fiscal year has ended.

Havas is parent to the Arnold, Euro RSCG and Media Planning global agency networks.